The new attack on Israel is a reminder that we must never stop engaging with Leftists

Father and son shoutingThe single most effective opposition to the movement to turn Israel into a pariah state is for people actually to go to Israel.  Once there, they see that it is a free, dynamic, pluralist society, that is deeply respectful of human rights.  This explains the newest outbreak of antisemitism in America’s universities and churches:  marginalizing people who dare to see Israel for themselves.  Over at Commentary Blog, there are two stories about just that, one coming out of UCLA, and the other coming out of the Presbyterian Church.

Traditionally, both Jews and conservatives have shied away from fights.  The time to shy away is over.  As Ben Shapiro showed when he decimated boycott/divest/sanction supporters at UCLA, every time the Left hits out, conservatives must hit back twice as hard and twice as often.

One of the things Charles Martel and I talked about yesterday at lunch was the fact that Leftist are perpetual adolescents.  This is obvious in a lot of ways:  they’re short-sighted, short-fused, emotional, deeply invested in shallow takes on serious issues, given to ill-conceived hero-worship, etc.  The other thing that they have in common with adolescents is their laser-like focus on their personal needs.

I think I’ve mentioned here before a book I once read about parenting techniques to use on challenging teens.  Eighteen years after the fact, what has stick with me is the author’s point about a teen’s focus versus an adult’s focus.  Adults focus on lots of things:  a job, a household, the children’s needs, an elderly parent’s needs, community work, and sometimes even their own needs.  Teens, however, focus only on one thing, which is their emotional need at that specific moment.  While you’re juggling myriad responsibilities, both temporal and intellectual, your teen is thinking “mall” or “party dress” or “Cancun.”

In the political world, conservatives, like adults, tend to think in terms of responsibilities, while Leftists, the adolescents, think in terms of emotional needs.  Responsibilities place demands on you; emotional needs place demands on everything else.

What this means is that, if the Leftist’s emotional need is to destroy Israel, he will tackle it with the same ferocity and single-mindedness one sees in the teen demanding that trip to the mall.  If one argument fails, he will shift effortlessly to the next one and then to the one after that.  Meanwhile, if you, the adult/conservative, have won the first argument, you’re not automatically gearing up to defend against any subsequent arguments.  Instead, you’re foolishly thinking that the issue is over and that you can move on to your next responsibility.  Silly you.

In the battle between teen and parent, the book’s author suggested acknowledging the teen’s argument without ever engaging:  “I understand that all your friends are going to the mall, but in our house, the rule is that you can’t go to the mall on a week night.”  “I understand that you feel this is unfair, but the rule is that you can’t go to the mall on a week night.”  You’re Teflon and, faced with this consistent, impregnable line of defense, the teen eventually runs out of arguments, especially because you won’t engage him substantively.

Unfortunately, in the real world, the mature conservative cannot use this Teflon approach with the adolescent Leftist.  That’s because the battle isn’t just being fought between the two combatants; it’s being fought on the public stage, with the winner taking all in public opinion.  Just as is the case in a trial against the lawyer from Hell, no matter how stupid or unprincipled his arguments are, you have to challenge every one of them on the merits because you’re not really arguing with him at all.  Instead, you’re performing for the judge.

The same is true in politics.  No matter how heated the argument between two individuals seem, they’re not really fighting each other.  They are, instead, are performing for the American public.


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  • Ymarsakar


  • Ymarsakar

    Shapiro isn’t engaging with Leftists. He’s engaging the peasants and slaves that have been victimized by the Left. A distinction that should not be ignored.
    Engaging the Left’s arguments is still meaningless, even as propaganda theater.

  • Caped Crusader

    How in heaven’s name can you hope to make any progress against antisemitism when 80% of Jews themselves are still supporting these very people with their votes, time, and treasure? A great deal of in house conversion to the battle must be made. You cannot fight the devil when you are ensconced comfortably and in leadership positions in his home and support his every move. When others who recognize what is transpiring see the majority of Jews caring nought and supporting those who hate Israel, why should they get upset or care what happens to Israel?

    • raymondjelli

      Not really. The same argument holds against how do you make progress against European socialism when such and such percentage of Catholics and Protestants, etc. believe in European Communism or Fascism. If you count those who have changed their sides as being part of their former side you get distorted outlooks.
      The Left has purposely championed the Jews as being a demographic so that they can say they own the Jewish vote. Much easier to say you represent someone when you have statistically given them to yourself .
      It sounds much better to say that “Jews support are position” rather than “people who support our position support our position”.
      It is absurd. Would anyone accept the Catholic vote as a demographic if it included left wing, religion hating  Catholics? You wouldn’t. In fact the left has tried to do that with the abortion issue. Creating phony Catholics like Pelosi who only care about abortion when the sales by Planned Parenthood go down suddenly proclaiming how they love the church but abortion is an issue that Catholics overwhelmingly support.  No one bought it.
       Instead of obsessing about the “Jewish” vote how about letting everyone know that a Leftist is a Leftist and plenty of people stand against them especially those who practice the actual religion!!

  • raymondjelli

    The best way to argue with a Leftist is to let him know there is a price for losing the argument and that he will be totally engaged by you. If a professor asserts America is evil and must conform to the professor’s worldview there are really 2 arguments and not one.  The first is what is wrong with America. The second argument is how the professor has the right to make assertions which are proclamations.
    An intellectual or politician has no inherent right to a position or argument. They are merely filling out a type of specialization. A plumber or engineer demonstrates his right to hold a position by competency. An intellectual does so only if he is able to show that he has honestly and completely considered the difference between ideas and can show why he has a position that he does. Anything else is failure. Except in the sciences (and that excludes climate science) there is no legitimacy in modern intellectual life.
    The real argument is the failure of the academics and the intellectuals and until that is addressed all other arguments are meaningless. The truth is they don’t do well when having to explain their own justification for power. They fail every time but we let them off the hook.
    Leftists want “comprehensive” solutions. Let’s make sure that they know they face “comprehensive” failure. You can’t argue against them with tactics in the long run. You need a strategy.

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  • lee

    Random thoughts in response:
    I learned a long time ago, when I was an undergrad, that the Israel-bashers are not above lying–hell, lying is a first choice for them. We (supporters of Israel), had an awfully strong dedication to truth and FACTS to back us up. It’s a lot harder to win a debate when the opposition is trotting out made-up-on-the-spot statistics and lies that they call “facts,” when you are trying to find ACTUAL TRUE FACTS AND STATS. Uh… uh… uh… If you asked them for their source, they would make up something, usually some sort of UN publication. (Now, there are more UN publications actually making up their own propaganda to support the lies…) It’s a crazy thing to do, so sane people just stop engaging the crazies. But the crazies are just getting LOUDER and MORE NUMEROUS, and have taken over college campuses across the world. (Only in an insane would would someone write a dissertation  that claims IDF soldiers don’t rape because they are too racist to, and successfully defend it!)




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    I recall following a blog a few years ago, when the PC(USA) was deliberating heading down the anti-Israel, anti-Semitism path. It was by a man who was a Presbyterian, VERY involved in the church, and a deeply religious man who felt himself dedicated to the Presbyterian church.. (With a lower case “c.”) He was APPALLED. It was an extremely interesting blog. If I can find it again, I will share it with you.
    But I also find it interesting that in my home town, there are three Presbyterian churches.  One is affiliated with PC(USA) and it can barely stay afloat. The other two are doing much better, and they are affiliated with the PCA. Now, that being said, the PC(USA) is the larger of the two, with, according to Wikipedia (so it MUST be true!) 1.8 million members. The PCA is the second largest, with 364,019 members, which is quite a bit smaller.

  • Charles Martel

    The incredible cognitive dissonance among liberal Jews is this: They side with the underdog—at least as they perceive the underdog (blacks, homosexuals, illegal immigrants, promiscuous women). But when they themselves are the underdog, they flat out refuse to defend themselves. It takes immense self-doubt and the self-hatred to do so. 

  • Ymarsakar

    The underdogs are in Israel, so American Jews don’t think of them as themselves. Just as California doesn’t think of Oakland as their home. It’s separate from the Marinites.
    The Jews might defend themselves. Defending strangers in Israel takes more work. And we all know how the Left sees work.

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