Foreign policy expert Joshua Muravchik believes that American liberals — once among the strongest supporters of Israel — began opposing the Jewish state when they started viewing modern political struggles as being rooted in battles between racial and ethnic groups.
Muravchik, a fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, told the Christian Post that this worldview now dominates liberals’ ideology, replacing the class-based and poverty focus that was once predominantly seen as the culprit.
“Leftists/liberals/progressives believe that the great moral drama of our era is ‘the rest against the West’ or the ‘people of color’ against the ‘white man,'” he told the Post. “This has replaced poor-against-rich or worker-against-capitalist as the core idea of progressive thought.”
According to Muravchik, this ideology leads many on the left to see Israel as being on the “Western” and “white” side of the battle, with the Palestinians being seen as the “people of color” who are under assault.
He addressed these themes in a Washington Post interview this week as well, claiming that American liberals were impacted by the global left’s turn against Israel.
“This began with the recognition by the Arabs that their legacy of affiliation with Axis in World War Two was a political liability; and so Fatah, under the leadership of Arafat who had been mentored by the Nazi-collaborator Amin al-Husseini, exchanged that legacy for a new revolutionary anti-colonial identity that they absorbed by apprenticing themselves to the Algerian FLN and the Vietnamese Communists,” Muravchik explained. “Also, in the latter half of the 20th-century the old leftist paradigm of class struggle was superseded by national/ethnic struggle.”
In contrast, he said American conservatives see the situation quite differently.
“On the other side, conservatives value Israel as a free country, a democracy, and an ally of the United States,” Muravchik added.
Despite these shifts, the foreign affairs expert doesn’t see the U.S. government’s support for Israel slipping away any time soon, as he noted that polls show the American public is strongly supportive of the Middle Eastern nation.
“President Obama has been cooler toward Israel that any other president in recent memory, saying in his first year that he wanted to ‘put daylight’ between the U.S. and Israel, and he has done that, but still he has not changed U.S. policy radically,” he told the Post.
Consider a 2013 Gallup poll that found that 78 percent of Republicans hold a favorable view of Israel compared to 60 percent of Democrats. While there’s clearly a disparity, majorities of both party adherents hold favorable views of the country.
Muravchik’s comments come as Israel is in an ongoing battle with Hamas.
Read the rest of the Post’s interview with Muravchik, who recently released his new book “Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel,” here.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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