I am currently reading about the excellent and depressing research of David Collier into the Palestinian Solidarity Commission, England’s largest and most “prestigious” “pro-Palestinian” group with Jeremy Corbyn and Ilan Pappe on their board.
He quotes one of PSC’s activists, Tony Gratrex:
The Zionists’ militarist mindset is evidently motivated by the ethnocentric myths of Jewish victimhood. World-conquering Neocon-Zionist belligerence is driven in large part by the religious adherence to the official propaganda of the victors of World War II.
As I read it, I recognized the classic projective conversion to which some, at times too many, fall prey in projecting their own desire for world dominion onto others. This is what the Nazis did with their “warrant for genocide,” the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the Jihadis do today with the same text, much embroidered with their own deft touches. Is this Gratrex’s secret desire? Not really my business. Is it the open desire of Jihadis whom Tony joins in attacking their common foe, Zionism? You bet.
Then an interesting mental exercise occurred to me: reverse the referents.
The Islamist’s militarist mindset is evidently motivated by the ethnocentric myths of Muslim victimhood. World-conquering Caliphater belligerence is driven in large part by the religious adherence to the official propaganda of the losers of World War II.
That, alas, is a pretty accurate statement, to which one might add the role that an own-goal, lethal Western journalism, obsessed with images of Muslim victims of Israeli violence, contributed to that sense of global victimization.
But it would be unthinkable in the Western public sphere today, to openly make such an observation, despite the widespread tolerance for the projective meme of Israeli/Jewish malevolence. Imagine Tony, or his fellow cultists at PSC like Falk, or Pappe, or Corbyn, tolerating the very mention of so broad-stroked and conspiratorial statement about Muslims. Just kidding.
Imagine Theresa May saying it. Not likely, until she takes Melanie Phillips as an advisor on these matters.
Why? “Because it would be Islamophobic, and offend many Muslims.”
As for the scurrilous attacks on the Jews… “deplorable, but let’s not forget freedom of speech.”
Take another example from Collier’s study, this time by Joshua Blakeney:
It does a disservice to the Palestinians and non-Palestinian victims of Israeli foreign policy to try to divorce the Palestine Question from the broader manifestations of the locus of power which James Petras has referred to as the “Zionist Power Configuration” (ZPC). This ZPC operates at both a global and local level as was indicated on 9/11. As Naomi Klein accurately wrote in the Guardian “[the] Likudisation of the world [is] the real legacy of 9/11.”
Operate the inversion:
“It does a disservice to the Palestinians, Israelis, and non-Palestinian victims of Palestinian Jihadi global policy, to try to divorce the Palestine Question from the broader manifestations of the locus of power which no one has yet referred to as the “Islamist Power Configuration” (IPC). This IPC operates at both a global and local level as was indicated on 9/11. As Naomi Klein accurately did not write in the Guardian the “Islamization of the world [is] the real legacy of 9/11.” [Duh.]
When one operates the inversion on a particularly virulent attack on Zionism as a world evil, if the results fulfill three conditions, I would contend that we have a good test for the presence of proleptic dhimmitude.
I define proleptic dhimmitude as taking on the requirements of dhimmitude in anticipation of Muslim rule. Thus, appeasing Muslim demands for dhimmi behavior before there is any conquest (the normal conditions for imposing dhimmitude). In this case the key (initial) demand, is that infidel show respect for triumphalist Muslims and not criticize them, or their religion. That according to Sharia, is blasphemy, like the Danish Cartoons.
Hence, if inversion produces the following three conditions, the dhimmitude geiger counter starts firing on at least 3 cylanders:
- Inverting the attack on Israel produces a reasonably accurate depiction of the Caliphater cogwar against the West.
- This re-statement would find no person on the “Left” willing to articulate or even repeat it coherently, indeed most people would rather volubly protest the statement;
- The original statement, however, would be one that most people would either approve of, or consider exaggerated but sadly true; while those who disapprove, verbrennte Zionists aside, would only do quietly, if at all.
I would suggest this is a good test of proleptic dhimmitude and think that even moderate, centrist, liberals would find some interesting internal reactions as they undertake the exercise. This would include watching their minds run for the door of “but of course all this anti-Muslim stuff is just as much nonsense as the anti-Jewish stuff.”
After all, what do dhimmi leaders do? They urge their people not to insult Muslims or anything to do with Islam. In their efforts to appease their protectors, they
- fall silent about Muslim offenses and attack those who do discuss them;
- join their protectors in attacking Muslim designated enemies (2 Satans);
- fall silent about the terrible, grotesque, anti-intellectual attacks on Israel that completely ignore the victims in their eagerness to attack the victimizer’s scapegoat.
Take the test: where would you rate your proleptic dhimmitude?
- on board with not insulting muslims?
- on board with criticizing Israelis?
- voluble in opposing Islamophobic statements?
- reluctant to volubly oppose anti-Israel statements?
We’re all on the scale, especially those of us who haven’t thought about these matters. The issue at this point is, where on the scale are we? And what can we do to wean ourselves of this proleptic dhimmitude effectively, in order for the West to resist – in the name of freedom and mutual beneficence – the dark, zero-sum world of the Caliphaters and their (gasp!) triumphalist desire for global dominance.
What self-respecting, proleptic dhimmi would even imagine taking such a ludicrous statement seriously?
If you don’t think you’re a dhimmi, responding to intimidation? Try defending Israel. Intellectually, it’s as easy as pie. Emotionally? not so much.
If you need emotional encouragement, consider – beyond the obvious self-preservation – the fact that these projective memes, despite clothing themselves as “pro-Palestinian”, are really just hate-mongering anti-Israelism (ie hostile to autonomous Jews), in a narrative where Palestinians are necessary victims of human rights abuse, much like their fellow Arab commoners throughout the Arab-majority world.
UPDATE: Jennifer Dyer has an excellent commentary on this post at her blog, Liberty Unyielding.