Another Tack: A glossary of newspeak slogans

The Left has a habit of downplaying, deriding and denigrating opposing convictions; and denying them resonance, it then portrays its own viewpoints as the majority’s article of faith.

peace now demo 311 (photo credit: AP)
peace now demo 311
(photo credit: AP)
It was sweet solace for the soul to learn that some on the entrenched Left still retain a smidgeon of hankering for the Zionist fold. It was comforting to conclude that maybe the more progressive self-appointed guardians of other people’s consciences have noticed, albeit belatedly, that they had strayed too close to the loony fringe. So it was with genuine joy that many of us received the news of initiatives to purportedly back away from postmodern/post-Zionist excesses and return to the patriotic middle ground that was historically the solid power base of this country’s Labor-Left.
We sincerely yearned to applaud the renascent National Left (Smol Leumi), not least because our entire body politic must be able to count on two responsible mainstream mainstay alternatives. It must be able to count on alternatives which place Israeli security and self-preservation above all trendy inclinations and which do not observe our reality through deliberately distortive enemy lenses.
But then came the pitifully under-attended but grossly over-hyped rallyin Jerusalem which let the mangy cat out of the bag. These PeaceNow/Labor/Meretz activists weren’t changing course. Like classic frontorganizations, they just wanted to hoodwink us and get us to believethey were. The goal was to convince the Zionist majority that the Leftis its sole true expression. The idea was to parade leftist dogmas asindispensable Zionist creeds.
Subtext: If you don’t adhere to the Left’s latest ideologicaltransmutations, you are perforce ejected from the Zionist camp. Thesesupposedly Zionist leftists weren’t joining the Zionist majority; theywere out to transform that majority in their image. Anyone who dissentsfrom their compulsory definition of Zionism – a far cry from BerlKatznelson, David Ben-Gurion and even Meir Ya’ari and Ya’acov Hazan –is pilloried as a heretic.
Hence they carried banners proclaiming that “Zionists don’t settle” and demanded “Zionism without occupation.”
The clinchers were placards urging: “Barack Obama please force peace onus.” How delightfully obsequious. But it’s more than simply submissive.The call for coercion, which average Israelis intuitively considerinimical to our existential interests, betrays a more sinister agenda.
With ploys eerily reminiscent of George Orwell’s “Negative Utopia” of1984, left-wing opinion-molders engage in subtleforms of brainwashing. Whatever they champion is gospel. Theirpostulates become infallible doctrine, which they condition the massesnot to examine by any yardstick for objective validity.
Downplaying, deriding and denigrating opposing convictions, and denyingthem resonance, they then portray their own viewpoints as themajority’s article of faith. They haughtily posture as democracy’sspokespersons and contend that their opponents can never be right.
AND JUST as in Orwell’s world, where the concept of reality-based truthis abolished, anyone the perception-manipulators consign to marginalstatus must be insane, settlers and their supporters foremost.
Just look at the Newspeak, which Israeli Doublethink has produced. Hereis a glossary of sample standby slogans and much-mouthed mantras:
The sane majority – i.e. Peace Now et al. All who disagree are perforcenumerically inferior and of no account, election resultsnotwithstanding. As is their custom, bona fide radicals, thoughsanctimoniously preaching democracy, automatically depict alldissenters as democracy’s foes, pronouncing them weird if notaltogether a demented menace. Electoral triumphs by said “mad minority”constitute outrages against Orwellian Goodthink. Such upsets, however,lend no legitimacy to ideological rivals and only increase the impetusto overcome them.
Enough with occupation – inculcates in the listener’s mind the notionthat Israelis willfully, with no provocation, crossed the blessed GreenLine one sunny June morning in 1967, snuffed out Palestiniansovereignty (nonexistent though it was) and sadistically subjugated theancient Palestinian nation (which never existed before the advent ofZionism). It omits to mention that the territory in question isn’tforeign but directly contiguous to our incredibly narrow-waisted state,an integral part of our ancestral homeland, yet we hadn’t taken ituntil forced to defend ourselves against attempted genocide and ethniccleansing.
Occupation corrupts – it does indeed, if the occupier a priorirelinquishes his deterrent potential, making do instead with containinghis adversaries and reacting to their initiatives. Occupiers who don’tutilize the force they possess, don’t opt for quick victories andacquiesce to prolonged conflicts of attrition, embolden theirantagonists to introduce deadlier means and escalate terror.Halfhearted responses invigorate enemy resolve and increasenoncombatant casualties and suffering.
Territories are a liability – only for Israelis. All other nationsregressively regard territories as assets, which none ever voluntarilyceded. Cheerfully divesting ourselves of strategic depth (compromise inNewspeak) renders us more vulnerable and allows our enemies to importmore sophisticated, more accurate, more destructive and longer-rangeweaponry. When our survival instincts eventually kick in, bloodywarfare would ensue as a direct consequence of moves to unload theliability.
Territories for peace – promotes the theory that peace must bepurchased and that Palestinians are fighting for independence on adelineated parcel of real estate. It strenuously obscures the factthat, more than they hanker for their own state, they yearn to destroyours.
There’s no military solution – this defeatist refrain promotes shirkingresponsibility and justifying the cop-out of appeasement at a time whenthe powers-that-be haven’t done their utmost to thwart existentialthreats and safeguard the populace.
The limitations of power – seeks to convince the citizenry that afterpinpoint targeting, low intensity response and selective surgicalstrikes fail to impress the enemy, there’s nothing left to do. Gettingdown and dirty is out of the question, as is acknowledging that we’reat war and not pursuing societally ostracized and isolated criminalbands.
You make peace with enemies – applies only to Israelis, who areexpected to deviate from precedent and deny history. Elsewhere treatiesare signed with defeated enemies who dread their adversary’s might morethan they identify its weakness. History is replete with examples ofpeace contracted with enemies, but only after they were unequivocallyvanquished and the fight taken out of them.
Nobody ever made long-lasting peace with a side that continued tobattle and press irredentist demands. Shady dubious deals withtyrannies never work – remember Chamberlain’s Munich disgrace and theRibbentrop-Molotov fiasco. Such gambles bring bloodshed, not peace.
THESE ARE facts incontrovertibly borne out by human experiencethroughout the ages. With brazen absolutism, however,Doublethink-purveyors seek to persuade Israelis that historical normand factual truth signify that aggressors deserve another chance onsquare one and that peace is always made with still-potentever-implacable enemies.
But why bother with facts? In “the labyrinthine world of Doublethink”the end goal is to get folks not just to say the opposite of what theythink but to think the opposite of what’s tangibly obvious, tosurrender intellectual integrity and cease distinguishing betweencommon sense and nonsense.
Doublethink, Orwell elucidates, is “reality control.” The “lie that ispassed into history becomes the truth” because “whoever controls thepresent controls the past.” This matters hugely, since “whoevercontrols the past controls the future.”