Moral abdication as principled thought: How the Guardian learned to love the bomb

The latest Guardian editorial on Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, Iran: bolting the stable door, Nov. 9, can be summed up by these passages from their polemic:

“It really is time for Iran to drop the pretence that it is not on that path.”

“It really is time to drop the pretence that Iran can be deflected from its nuclear path.”

 “It really is time for the United States to recognise that there is no military solution.” 

“An attack on Iran would of course be madness.”

“And it really is time for both America and Israel to put aside the idea that they can stop history with high explosives, cyber-attacks, sanctions and assassinations.”

So, to sum up: Israel and the US – not to mention relatively moderate Arab Sunni allies who similarly fear Iranian hegemony in the region – should not only accept the inevitability of a nuclear Iran and completely rule out the use of force to prevent it, but even cease non-military pressure, such as economic sanctions and cyber-attacks.

Israel should just accept the inevitability that an enemy sworn to its destruction will acquire the means to carry out such designs.

We’ve often argued that one of the defining characteristics of Guardian Left thought is the condescending paternalism towards the Jewish state, as well as tendency to see Israel, the Palestinians, and the greater Arab world, not as state actors engaged in deadly serious conflict but, rather, as mere abstractions.

This paternalism is often expressed – both by the Guardian and other sage far left commentators who truly see their mission as “saving Israel from itself” – in the implicit, and often explicit, suggestion that Israel is too crippled by irrational fears to make sober political decisions.

Indeed, the most telling passage in the Guardian editorial is this:

“But both Israel and Iran have made a habit of distracting themselves from their most difficult problems by puffing up the spectre of external enemies.”

Leaving aside their signature moral equivalence, such a passage accurately conveys the Guardian’s moral indifference to the unrestrained malice of Israel’s enemies.

Evidently, the Jewish state puffs up the spectre of a Hamas regime committed to Israel’s destruction.

And, Israel evidently puffs up the spectre of Hezbollah, the heavily armed, Iranian-backed, Islamist movement – committed both to the Israel’s destruction and to the murder of Jews all over the world – which increasingly claims more of Lebanon under its yoke.

Regarding the latter, In 2002, Hezbollah’s Sheik Nasrallah was quoted by the Lebanon Daily Star as encouraging Jews to move to Israel. “If they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide,” he said.

A previous Hezbollah statement was just as clear:

“It is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth.”  

To the Guardian, the Jewish state’s fears that Hezbollah’s sponsors in Tehran repeatedly express similar genocidal aims is either an expression of the paranoia and profound pathos which informs Israeli political debate, or mere hyperbole and political theatrics.

Richard Landes characterizes “liberal cognitive egocentrism” as the projection of good faith and fair-mindedness onto others, the assumption that “others” share the same human values, that everyone prefers positive sum interactions.

“I’ll give up trying to dominate and trust you to give it up as well,” “if I’m nice to you, you will be nice in return,”

This is the fundamental moral fallacy which inspires such Guardian editorials, and, moreover, which increasingly excludes Israel from the progressive imaginative sympathy.   

Fortunately, unlike through most of history, Jews are no longer completely vulnerable to such hostility and indifference.

The moral imperative of Jewish sovereignty, and the projection of Jewish power, has never been clearer.

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