Words vs. Violent Acts
Why the Left wants to confuse us about the meaning of “protest.”
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines the noun protest as: “a strong complaint expressing disagreement, disapproval, or opposition.” It defines the verb _protest: “_to express disagreement with, disapproval of, or opposition to something by complaining strongly about it.” In both cases, expressing disagreement accords with our Western traditional values as being a part of our value of freedom of expression.
In neither case does the expression relate to violent acts. Thus, traditionally, protest that turns violent is distinguished from protest that may involve marching, carrying signs, and chanting. So, when parties misdescribe as a protest something that involves damage to property or injury to persons, they are in fact failing to recognize that Western constitutions only give freedom to protest by means of expression (through spoken or written words) and not by means of violent acts.
It must be understood that a failure to use the modifier peaceful or violent when it comes to a protest, means that the speaker or writer, television host or reporter, has an underlying tolerance of violent protest as he or she has no intent to assert the difference.
Why do Leftists think it appropriate to try to knock down the doors to the Senate during the Kavanaugh hearing or threaten administration officials when they dine in restaurants? Is that legitimate protest?
We have recently seen a violent protest by Hamas militants and followers trying to push through the barbed wire fencing that protects Israeli towns and villages near Gaza from terrorists who plainly state that they want to kill Jews – not just Israeli soldiers but all Jews.
The use of the word “protest” to describe the push to cross the border (or under the border through a multitude of underground tunnels) obfuscates not only this push, but also the use of incendiary devices that float across the border and then burn everything where they land, including agricultural crops, forests and housing.
This “protest” is really intended to draw Israel into military operations, in order to justify what has just occurred this past week - that is, the firing of hundreds of missiles from their launching pads, which sometimes are in apartment buildings, schools, hospital and mosques, which, if Israel fires back against every launching site, they can be seen as the side that murdered “civilians”. In a weaponized society like Hamas-controlled Gaza, everything from television programming for children to sermons by Imams pound the theme that the Jewish state is somehow illegitimate and it is the duty of every Muslim to destroy the Jewish state, and, to achieve that end, support violent terrorism. They hope that the Western media will call it “protests” against a country that supposedly is an “occupier.” In fact, it was under the leadership of a man the media called “right wing” – Ariel Sharon – that Israel gave Gaza to the Muslim residents and forced the removal of Jewish Gazans. No occupation there.
Here are some examples of how American leftist Democrats are confusing words with violent actions when the apply the term “protest” to both of them.
Let us examine some quotes from an older American socialist politician – Bernie Sanders – and then a younger American socialist politician – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Sanders, in the face of the violent Gaza protests, storming of the border, and launching of incendiary devices, immediately tweeted out on March 31st, 2018 that “The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response (from Israel.)” Again, Sanders’ use of words like “protest and “demonstrators” is disingenuous. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “demonstrator” thus: “a person who marches or stands with a group of people to show that they disagree with or support something or someone.”
Is Sanders so blinded by hate towards the Jewish state, for whatever psychological reason that might exist in his mind as a Jew himself, that he fails to see the violence among the “demonstrators”?
Sanders is so fixated on his friends the Gazans that he has attempted to minimize the role of Hamas and Iran, by recently making a video limited to regurgitated propaganda directly from individual Gazans. The notorious Israel hater Peter Beinart, writing in the anti-Israel Jewish publication The Forward on June 11th this year, exults over any company he can get in his cause of harming Israel, by focusing on the sad young women in Sanders’ video, who want to blame Israel for the fate of Gaza when Israel gave them the land in the unrealistic hope that these Arabs would build a peaceful, prosperous state.
It was only after continued Hamas actions turning Gaza into a military base complete with Iranian missiles used against Israeli civilians and underground tunnels and rocket launchers from the roofs of apartment buildings, to the Palestinians’ “protest” and worse. But because Israel is wrong to defend itself in the eyes of haters like Beinart and Sanders, we have Beinart saying: “Criticizing Hamas is both legitimate and necessary. But Sanders’ video shows how the media’s obsession with Hamas obscures the human causes of Palestinian protest, and the human consequences of Israel’s brutal response.”
Just as they mix up the words “protestors” and “terrorists” these Jewish Israel haters, mix up cause and effect. The current effect was caused not by Israel which pulled out of the land, but now has to set up buffer areas to protect its citizens on the other side of the fence. Israel now finds itself lacking international support for its position of defending against Iranian missiles which shall only gain in accuracy. They don’t want to send their troops into Gaza to destroy the missiles being used against Jewish civilians. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is apparently being told by his generals that such a mission would be too costly to both the soldiers and the weaponized civilians alike.
And so Netanyahu dithers and the Israelis might well have to go to the polls to elect someone who promises action against the terrorists, so that Israelis from the south of the country don’t have to sleep in bomb shelters. Everyone knows that the Iranian-made missiles now can reach Israeli larger cities in the south, like Ashkelon and Beersheva. When any attempts are made to bolster Israeli defenses, it elicits a chorus from the Islamists, and from their friends the leftist Israel-haters, that Israel is an “occupier” – another term meant to close off intellectual inquiry, rather than evaluate how a liberal democracy can possibly protect its citizens from Islamist terrorist forces. Remember, it is the Arabs who flout all the laws of warfare, by not dressing their terrorist “soldiers” in uniforms and by enlisting women and children into their terrorist army. It is the Israelis who drop leaflets warning civilians away from a prospective military target.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the fire-causing kites launched from Gaza to Israeli farms constitute what is being called a “Kite War”. The use of that term certainly describes the situation more clearly than hiding the facts by using the term “protest.” Certainly the protest is now a war. The problem is that the ideological pacifists make common cause with the anti-Semites to argue that the Jewish state alone among nations has no right to protect its citizens because there is no “war” but only a “protest”. The Australian network, however, seems to be able to see when a protest becomes a war:
The Israeli Foreign Ministry says kites dangling burning cloth or embers have caused more than 400 bushfires across swathes of land, destroying an estimated 7,000 hectares of land, killing wildlife and costing about $2 million in damage.
Balloons have also been found in southern Israel with gasoline or flammable gas inside.
Not all kites have caused fires. But those that do have caused damage not only to land or property, but also psychological stress to communities and residents, particularly in southern Israel.
One of the kite launchers, an 18-year-old who asked to withhold his name for fear of Israel targeting him, said the trend started with bored teens flying Palestinian flags.
We wanted to provoke the Israelis more, so we attached a burning rag to the kite. Thanks to God’s will, the thread was cut and the kite fell on the other side and started a fire. This is how we got the idea,” he said, adding that a kite only cost $1 to make and a balloon just 50 cents.
Unless there are 15 to 20 fires, we don’t consider this a good day.”
And now we turn to the young socialist, 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whom the leftist media is promoting as the role model for young Democrats.
After 60 Palestinian paramilitary forces and their supporters, participating in the 2018 Gaza border actions, were killed on May 14, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the Israel Defense Forces’ use of deadly force, tweeting, “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.” In a subsequent interview, she said, “The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me.”
Nowhere else in America today do we see the confusion between military-backed terror and “political expression” in such stark and ignorant terms. If she is the future of the Democratic Party, and Islamist terrorism is to be viewed as “political expression,” and Islamist anti-Israel Democrats like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from increasingly Muslim states like Michigan and Minnesota take office, God help us.
In my study of ideologies in my books Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed and The Ideological Path to Submission … and what we can do about it, I study the ideological bases for political action and inaction. I study the threats to freedom from Islamist Sharia Law, jihad, abuse of women, children, ethnic and religious minorities. What we see happening with the leftist hatred of Israel is an attempted ideological takeover of our language. Leftists seek to influence debate, not by intellectual arguments, but by mis-using terms like “protest” and “demonstrator” to portray evil-doers as simple protestors. They have declared war on our morality by declaring war on our language. Are we getting used to this war as Leftist academics inflict upon us such confused terms as “safe spaces” and “safetyism”, “micro-aggressions”, “trigger warnings” and “intersectionality”? Read the great book by Lukianoff and Haidt entitled “The Coddling of the American Mind.”
There is another term in vogue by the Leftists – the word “resist.”
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines the term as a verb as follows: “to fight against something or someone that is attacking you.” And it defines “resistance” as “a situation in which people or organizations fight against something or refuse to accept or be changed by something.”
Of course, there is the term “The Resistance,” which refers to “an organization that secretly fights against an enemy that has taken control of its country.” And so there was the French Resistance that fought against the Nazis and the French collaborationist Vichy government.
How many of us feel uncomfortable with the use of the term “resist” when it comes to fighting against, or refusing to accept, the duly elected President of the United States? Does incitement to violence against political foes connote anything other than an attempt to overthrow a legitimately elected President?
Does the use of this term connote a no-holds barred set of actions and words meant to do anything necessary to achieve such resistance?
As reported in Real Clear Politics on August 30th,
President Trump said the so-called ‘Resistance’ is ‘resisting the will of the American people’ at a campaign rally in Evansville, Ind. for Republican. U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun.
“The so-called resistance is mad because their ideas have been rejected by the American people,” Trump said Thursday. “We’re getting rid of those bad ideas one by one, so fast. And it is driving them crazy.”
It is much easier to protest against President Trump and pretend to “resist” him than it is to try to understand what the West can and should do to defend itself against the Islamist terrorism. It is also easier for pacifist-inclined Americans to pretend that 9⁄11 was not the start of a war against America by the Islamists but that it was just another “protest.” If Pearl Harbor happened today, would people assert it was just a Japanese protest against an American military build-up?
It is hard to understand that creative violent protests are aimed at getting militarily stronger countries to submit to the will of weaker countries. When the stronger country can no longer understand that free expression has to be non-violent expression and that it must not give in to resistance against lawful elections, we have a big problem.
We cannot let our enemies define our terms and our words. Doing so is another aspect of submission in the war being fought against the West.