The Left’s blind spot on Secularism and the Middle East

ABORTION on Demand, Women’s rights, Gay Rights, Freedom from Religious rule, when it comes to the Middle East, the left is prepared to sacrifice just about everything, including the idea of non-racialism, equality and the fight against apartheid in my home country, South Africa.

The manner in which Marxists who shun class divisions are able to reconcile their positions with the creation of an Islamic State in Palestine, alongside the resurrection of the Caliphate, never ceases to amaze me. If Karl Marx was a monarchist, it surely never came across in any of his writing.

Yet such is the dictatorship of the one-minded, as Howard Jacobson refers to it, writing in the Independent, that it has become nearly impossible to debate any of the issues without incurring the wrath of self-proclaimed moral watchdogs dressed in camo pants, keffiyehs and Birkenstocks.

“In the matter of Israel and the Palestinians this country has been heading towards a dictatorship of the one-minded for a long time; we seem now to have attained it. Deviate a fraction of a moral millimetre from the prevailing orthodoxy and you are either not listened to or you are jeered at and abused, your reading of history trashed, your humanity itself called into question,” says Jacobson.

In South Africa this form of intellectual blindness has produced its own form of moral hazard. Suggest for a minute as Mandela did, that you take Secular Israel’s demand for defensible borders seriously and you are immediately cast out like a leper, forced into the wilderness for questioning the conventional wisdom that sees Secularism as evil and the fundamentalist support of Hamas and its campaign for a final battle against the Jews, as the 21st century equivalent of the anti-apartheid movement.

Since when did the absence of a Freedom Charter and the pillorying of Nelson Mandela’s piece de’ resistance in South Africa’s ‘We the People’, Secular Constitution, provide legitimacy for anything except the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)?

In an article in [the Independent] last week, writes Jacobson, Robert Fisk argued that “a Palestinian woman and her child are as worthy of life as a Jewish woman and her child on the back of a lorry in Auschwitz”. I am not sure who he was arguing with, but it certainly isn’t me.”

Ouda Lafi al-Waj, 32, was killed and four members of his Bedouin family were injured when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a small Bedouin area near the Israeli city of Dimona over the weekend.

With trashy posters equating neutrality with complicity and calling on the public to take sides in battle, one is hard-pressed to find an intellectual that is not oppressed by global Jihad. Try explaining one’s position with regard to African non-alignment and bipartisanship to the black, green, white and red throng flying the same flag as Jordan while maintaining a unified front on Gaza and the West Bank  and you may as well be talking to a brick wall, and yet this is precisely the official policy of the country as reiterated to the nation by President Jacob Zuma over the weekend.

One may as well remark here on my 8-year-long legal battle against an apartheid media corporation and the refusal of SANEF and its affiliates to support my rights to a Secular Jewish identity in South Africa.

It is not surprising therefore that the SABC is calling for journalists to be licensed at the same time that I am busy filing a petition to the Judge President imploring him to preserve what little is left in our Bill of Rights, now that the left-wing in our country may as well be the right-wing when it comes to the nuts and bolts of Secularism.

PLEASE see my previous posting with regard to Stop the War.

[Published in Cape Argus, Cape Points, 4 August 2014]

Leave a Reply