How the Hamas War Exposes the “Woke” Movement's Reactionary "Progressives"
There has been a lot of speculation that the “woke” fad may already be fading, that it has reached its peak and even its own supporters or fellow travelers on the center-left are getting sick of it. There is some evidence that this is true in academia. But if we’re looking for a moment that could mark a definitive turn away from wokeness in the culture at large, the Hamas war just might be it.
Why? Well, view these comments from a debate in the Oakland City Council in which residents furiously reject a proposal to condemn Hamas.
According to the person who posted them, these excerpts are representative of only a third of the public comments—but one third is actually a heck of a lot for such insane views, even by the standards of the Bay Area.
The left’s reaction—its defense and even outright celebration of a terrorist group’s campaign of mass murder—puts a giant asterisk in front of everything they ever said about “marginalized” people, about how “silence is violence,” and any rhetoric they have ever used about “liberation” or “justice.” That asterisk stands for the proviso: “Except for the Jews.”
This is not mere hypocrisy but reflects and reveals the tribalist ideology behind the contemporary “woke” left.
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Before we look at the domestic repercussions of the war in Gaza, first let’s look at the current state of that war.
We have reached the stage Hamas was counting on all along. The initial reports of the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists in the October 7 attacks have faded away, to be replaced by stories about the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the war Israel has waged in return. As those stories begin to dominate the headlines, everyone forgets why Israel is fighting the first place—or they find it easier to evade the reason—and so Israel somehow ends up looking like the aggressor.
There is a clear double standard that applies here.