November 18, 2012

BARRY RUBIN: Here’s How — As With This Israel-Hamas War — Western Elites Are Baffled by the Middle East. “Much of the Western elite no longer understands concepts which their predecessors took for granted during the last two centuries.”

Related: Walter Russell Mead: America, Israel, Gaza, the World. “As Israeli airstrikes and naval shells bombarded Gaza this weekend, the world asked the question that perennially frustrates, confuses and enrages so many people across the planet: Why aren’t the Americans hating on Israel more? . . . America is a big country with a lot of things going on, but the real force driving American support for Israeli actions in Gaza isn’t Islamophobia, Jewish conspiracies or foam-flecked religious nuts. It’s something much simpler: many though not all Americans look at war through a distinctive cultural lens. Readers of Special Providence know that I’ve written about four schools of American thinking about world affairs; from the perspective of the most widespread of them, the Jacksonians, what Israel is doing in Gaza makes perfect sense. Not only are many Jacksonians completely untroubled by Israel’s response to the rocket attacks in Gaza, many genuinely don’t understand why the rest of the world is so steamed about Israel—and so angry with the United States.”

In Bob Dylan’s phraseology, they’d rather see us paralyzed. And Israel dead.