The predominant bias in Western media, that includes Europe, the UK and the US, is a liberal anti-colonialist view that also excoriates Israel at every turn. Their memories are short, they forget that after the Holocaust of Jews in Europe during WWII the predominant liberal sympathy lay with the Jews who were revolting against British imperial occupation, known as the Palestine Mandate. This was given to the British Government by the League of Nations to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. At that time, from 1945 to the 1950’s, sympathy lay with the Jews fighting for their sovereign rights. The Palestinian Arabs were hardly heard of, they were simply part of the Arab empire that stretched from Jordan to Iraq and from Syria to Yemen.
There are several reasons one can cite to explain the gradual shift of liberal and left opinion away from sympathy for Israel to the so-called Palestinian Arabs;
- The Jews won. Unexpectedly against great odds, the Jews in Palestine (starting at ca. 650,000 in 1948) defeated the armies of the surrounding Arab States (that did not recognize an Arab Palestine). Israel continued to win in the wars against them by various combinations of Arab States in every decade (1958, The Suez Campaign; 1967, The Six Day War; 1973, The Yom Kippur War; 1982, The Lebanon War; 1999, the First Intifada; 2006, the Second Intifada). Liberals have a natural tendency to support the losers, and the left prefer the poor downtrodden underdogs. Once the Jews in Palestine stopped conforming to this loser category, they lost liberal support. However, in the US, that prefers winners, Israel maintained a higher level of support.
- The reversal of reality. According to the Arab/Palestinian narrative, the Arabs are the indigenous people and the Jews are modern colonialist interlopers, and this is a view accepted as gospel by most western liberal/leftists. But, in reality this is mere propaganda, as even a cursory glance at the actual history will tell anyone who is interesting in the truth. It is common knowledge that the Jews were here thousands of years ago and they lost their sovereignty to the Romans in 55 bce. Empire after Empire conquered the Land, the Arabs in 639 ce, the Turks in 1516 ce, the British in 1917 ce. But, finally, after suffering immense losses at the hands of the Europeans (the Germans, and their many allies) and being double-crossed by the duplicitous British Empire that sought to keep the Land for itself, the indigenous Jews finally returned and reclaimed their Land.
- Zionism is racism. Liberals readily dismiss Zionism as racist. They completely ignore the fact that the Israeli declaration of Independence and the Basic Laws of Israel give every minority, including Arabs, equal rights as citizens. Now no State is perfect, there is certainly worse discrimination in many countries that claim to be democratic, including the US, but Israel is actually a working and stable liberal democracy. If you don’t believe me come and see for yourself, take a holiday trip and look around, you might be surprised that your preconceptions are mistaken.
- The Orthodox are fundamentalists. It is true that the Orthodox exercise political power in Israel, but Israel was founded by secular/socialist Jewish Zionists, and the religious Orthodox mostly came later. Anyway, in a democracy they have as much right to organize politically and vote for their own candidates as anyone else. If the left is against fundamentalism then why don’t they condemn the murderous Islamic fundamentalists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that seek to destroy Israel.
- Anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic. The liberal/left claim they are purely anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic. This claim rings hollow in Jewish ears, we’ve heard nonsense like this before. Why is it that liberals and leftists who generally support the rights of ethnic minorities, such as the Palestinians, find it impossible to support such a right for the Jews? Why are the Jews the only group in the world denied such a fundamental right by co-called liberals. This particular animosity towards Jewish sovereignty is clearly anti-Semitic. Although liberals claim they are anti-racist, they accept statements against Jews that would never be allowed against Blacks or other minorities. This is anti-Semitism, and it cannot be tolerated after the way the Jews have been treated by Western “civilization.”