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Echo & Narcissus: Why the West enables Israel
The West echoes Israeli talking points and falls into a dysfunction collective co-dependent / group narcissist dance. Will a drive toward self-preservation in the West ameliorate this situation?
Group narcissism and collective co-dependency are two conceptual lenses through which to analyse the West’s passive enabling of Israel’s actions in Gaza. The Echo and Narcissus myths from ancient Greece and Rome illustrate the main characteristics of these two psychological pathologies:
Cursed with the inability to say anything that had not already been said by someone else, Echo was the perfect mirror for Narcissus, who eventually cried that he would die before giving Echo any power over him. She replied the only way she could, by repeating, “I give you power over me.” Failing to respond to Echo’s love was Narcissus’s “crime” for which he was punished. The punishment was to be made to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. It is the myth of Narcissus and Echo, and it is just like Narcissus to get the whole myth named after only him in most peoples’ minds.
In modern terms, Narcissus was like a radio transmitter and Echo like a radio receiver. Narcissus emitted signals and Echo, in her search for succorance, received, enhanced, and reflected them back. Many people become so consumed by alcohol and other drug addiction that they project blame onto everyone else, and echoists are those who are most susceptible to identifying with these projections.
The process of projective identification requires two participants – the projector and the identifier. Narcissists are particularly good projectors and echoists are particularly good identifiers. Echoists are the enablers of narcissists, cult leaders and political demagogues.
Narcissus has no interest in attaching to objects exterior to himself. All his libidinal desire is directed inward as self-love. Given his extraordinary beauty, no external object could ever be worthy of his attention. Echo is his perfect partner because she validates his words without imposing her own desires upon him. Narcissus dies when he is finally tricked into attaching to an external object (his own reflection) and has no psychological infrastructure to deal with loving others.
Echo is the opposite, she is the archetype of co-dependence. She can only orient towards external objects and has no ability to satisfy internal desires. All her libidinal energy is directed outwards. All her utterances are repetitions made by the object she desires. She has no ability to express self-will.
Narcissus and Echo, as polar opposites, bond firmly together through a sort of molecular attraction. Echo enables Narcissus’s self-love by effacing herself. She is his perfect partner and has no need to walk on eggshells around him because she is totally dependent on Narcissus for her voice.
Group Narcissism / Collective Co-dependence
The concept of group or collective narcissism is credited to Jewish intellectuals within the Frankfurt School. Erich Fromm in his book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, gives an excellent presentation of both individual and group narcissism:
The concept of narcissism was formulated by Freud in terms of his libido theory. Since the schizophrenic patient does not seem to have any "libidinous" relationship to objects (either in reality or in phantasy), Freud was led to the question: "What has happened to the libido which has been withdrawn from external objects in schizophrenia?" His answer was: "The libido that has been withdrawn from the external world has been directed to the ego and thus gives rise to an attitude which may be called narcissism." In addition, Freud assumed that the original state of man in early infancy was narcissism ("primary narcissism"), in which there were not yet any relationships to the outside world; in the course of normal development the child increased his libidinal relationships to the outside world in scope and intensity, but under special circumstances (the most drastic one being insanity) the libido is withdrawn from objects and directed back to the ego ("secondary narcissism"); even in the case of normal development, however, a human being remains to some extent narcissistic throughout his life. (p. 200-1)
All healthy humans display narcissistic traits. Inward-directed narcissism’s balancing concept is outwardly-projected empathy. Understanding the relationship between healthy narcissism and psychopathy is best seen in looking at the ratio of narcissism to empathy within an individual. If we use a scale of 10, a healthy balanced person will have a level of 5 narcissism / 5 empathy. Even a 7 narcissism / 3 empathy would be within the healthy range. A person with 9 narcissism / 1 empathy would be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The inverse, 1 narcissism / 9 empathy would be a co-dependent, whose life can only be brought into balance by serving, or echoing, a narcissist. Fromm continues:
When, in group narcissism, the object is not the individual but the group to which he belongs, the individual can be fully aware of it, and express it without any restrictions. The assertion that "my country" (or nation, or religion) is the most wonderful, the most cultured, the most powerful, the most peace-loving, etc., does not sound crazy at all; on the contrary, it sounds like the expression of patriotism, faith, and loyalty. It also appears to be a realistic and rational value judgment because it is shared by many members of the same group. This consensus succeeds in transforming the phantasy into reality, since for most people reality is constituted by general consensus and not based on reason or critical examination. (p. 201)
Just like an individual, it is healthy for members of a group to feel collective pride.
Those whose narcissism refers to their group rather than to themselves as individuals are as sensitive as the individual narcissist, and they react with rage to any wound, real or imaginary, inflicted upon their group. If anything, they react more intensely and certainly more consciously. An individual, unless he is mentally very sick, may have at least some doubts about his personal narcissistic image. The member of the group has none, since his narcissism is shared by the majority. In case of conflict between groups that challenge each other's collective narcissism, this very challenge arouses intense hostility in each of them. The narcissistic image of one's own group is raised to its highest point, while the devaluation of the opposing group sinks to the lowest. One's own group becomes a defender of human dignity, decency, morality, and right. Devilish qualities are ascribed to the other group; it is treacherous, ruthless, cruel, and basically inhuman. The violation of one of the symbols of group narcissism-such as the flag, or the person of the emperor, the president, or an ambassador-is reacted to with such intense fury and aggression by the people that they are even willing to support their leaders in a policy of war. (p. 201-2)
Narcissistic personality disorder in individuals arises from an unfortunate combination of genetic and environmental factors. Early childhood abuse and trauma can result in adult narcissists. Genes and environment should not be thought of as opposing or separate phenomena. A narcissistic parent will both pass on his genes and create an abusive environment for his child.
Narcissism is a psychological defence mechanism where a child deploys a grandiose self-image as a shield for surviving an abusive home environment. An alternative reaction is surrender. Directly confronting a more powerful force can at times be a really bad strategy. The budding co-dependent fawns towards his abusive—often alcoholic—parent and the boundaries between parent and child melt as the roles reverse and the child takes guardianship over his dysfunctional mother or father.
In the popular mind, the concepts of both narcissism and co-dependency are at times exaggerated. An unwilling romantic partner may instantly be accused of narcissism when a break up occurs. It is easier to declare the departed partner psychologically defective than to examine one’s own role in the relationship’s demise.
The original concept of co-dependency was grounded in the study of alcoholics’ wives. This has morphed within the popular mind to the personage of an enabler. There have been attempts within the psychological profession, often by reversing aspects of narcissism, to codify the criteria for a co-dependency diagnosis:
While narcissists have a grandiose sense of self-importance, their partner echoists labor under a sense of insignificance.
While narcissists are preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power and brilliance, their partner echoists are preoccupied with feelings of profound impotence and failure.
While narcissists feel entitled, their partner echoists feel disenfranchised.
While narcissists are interpersonally exploitive and lack empathy, their partner echoists are excessively submissive and feel deep empathy for their partner’s suffering.
A collective historical trauma—cleverly stoked by a charismatic leader—can be the seed from which dysfunctional group narcissism springs. The canonical example of group narcissism is Nazi Germany, where the psychic trauma of losing the Great War was reprocessed and projected as hate towards the Jews. What started as smear campaigns devolved into genocide. Germans as a race became idealized, but only in an imaginary pure state. Jews were devalued and tarred as agents of contamination. In this rigid good-versus-evil binary, no self-scrutiny of German actions was possible and no empathy for Jews was allowed.
In the case of Nazi Germany, Jews should not be considered as collectively co-dependent as they did not to any extent actively enable their own destruction.
Since all groups should have pride (narcissism) in themselves, where then is the boundary between healthy and harmful group narcissism? Marxist (and Jewish) scholar Maxime Rodinson, in his book Israel: A Colonial-Settler State examined the double standards Zionists use to justify their colonization of Palestine. On the one hand, Zionists are able to condemn European settler colonization, for example the US massacre and displacement of Native Americans. On the other hand, many Zionists are unable to apply the same foreign-occupier / oppressed-indigenous binary to the Arabs living in the land of Palestine. As Rodinson explains:
I persist in thinking that being Jewish does not automatically oblige one to use two different sets of weights and measures. Otherwise one must be frank and state that whatever the circumstances, a given group of people, namely the group to which one belongs, is always right—in this case, using both anti-Semitic and Zionist criteria—the Jews. This kind of belief in the infallibility of one's own "ethnic" group is a frequent phenomenon in the history of human groups. It is called racism.
Following Rodinson, belief in the infallibility of one’s group is powerful evidence of a destructive group narcissism. Hand-in-hand comes a corresponding conviction of an essentially vile nature of enemy outgroups. For the collective co-dependent the idealization / devaluation targets would be mirrored. The narcissistic partner group would be idealized as infallible. However, the co-dependent’s own group, and/or the narcissist’s enemy group, would be loathed, considered inherently flawed and unworthy of respect.
Again, there is nothing wrong with a group seeking a positive identity or defending itself from oppression. Where dangerous group narcissism occurs is with the lack of empathy for the enemy and a declaration of infallibility is proclaimed for the ingroup. Just as a narcissistic parent can create a narcissistic child, an oppressively narcissistic colonizer group can create budding group narcissists among their victims. And so for example, in the US, the system of white supremacy around slavery abused blacks enough to stoke some black group narcissism. For Jews, a long history of pogroms and expulsions has tended to embed within the group Jewish psyche a self-defence mechanism leaning towards group narcissism, such as that of the current government of Israel under Benjamin Netanyahu. Of course no group is a monolith, and other blacks and Jews may respond in a healthy fashion or even veer into collective co-dependence.
With black Americans, the example of Martin Luther King shows a leader who stridently avoided unbalanced group narcissism. His universalist declaration about refraining from judgements based on skin color was designed to provoke empathy within his audience, both friendly and hostile. He also campaigned to address universal problems, such as poverty and the US war machine—issues which disproportionately impacted black Americans. He encouraged a protective, unifying narcissism among his followers but always balanced it with empathetic rhetoric towards his group’s enemies. His strategy was to increase white empathy towards blacks, therefore helping to bring into balance dysfunctional white group narcissism. According to MLK, whites were not inherently evil, nor were blacks necessarily paragons of virtue — in MLK’s discourse all aspired to a universal standard of “content of character.”
In contrast, BLM provoked a more unbalanced group narcissism. Blacks as a group became sacred victims through their martyrs of police violence. Whites as a group were a source of collective evil and only through self-denunciation sessions would the situation improve. The slogan, “white silence is violence” is an explicit call for whites to adopt a submissive, co-dependent attitude and to “echo” black group narcissistic rhetoric. To be clear, it was primarily co-dependent whites themselves who led these campaigns.
Judaism features a brilliant but grandiose theology where the notion that Jews are God’s “Chosen People” is combined with a monotheism that universalizes this alleged choice by God. This creates a spectrum from universalist to particularist (tribal) upon which Jews can locate themselves. During troubled times of feeling threatened by an angry and powerful majority, Jewish group narcissism should be an expected response to social trauma. Interestingly this did not occur to any great extent under Nazi oppression.
Identity politics is a movement designed to increase a group’s level of solidarity and narcissism. Its opposite would be “dissolution politics” which seeks to atomize a group by decreasing group cohesion, which leads to collective co-dependency. The key to success for any group undergoing these transformations is in maintaining a healthy level of empathy towards any opposing group.
Victimhood is not justification for any group with historic grievances resorting to extreme group narcissism. There are countless examples of children who suffered childhoods full of traumatic abuse who were able to break the cycle as adults and not in turn abuse their own children. The same applies to groups who have suffered historic oppression or collective trauma. For example, the fact that the Irish were colonized and brutalized by the British would not justify Ireland now finding a new outgroup to lord over.
From Zionism to the Dahiya Doctrine
The founding father of Zionism, Thomas Herzl in his essay from 1896 The Jewish State, lays out the solution to Europe’s Jewish Question—Jews would move en masse to Palestine and Europe would guarantee their security:
Palestine is our ever-memorable historic home. The very name of Palestine would attract our people with a force of marvellous potency. If His Majesty the Sultan [ruler of the Ottoman Empire which at the time ruled Palestine] were to give us Palestine, we could in return undertake to regulate the whole finances of Turkey. We should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism. We should as a neutral State remain in contact with all Europe, which would have to guarantee our existence.
The waning years of the 19th century were the peak epoch for European colonialism, both settler colonialism where the colonizer evicts the natives (as in the US, Canada, Australia, etc) and exploitive colonialism where the natives must work for the colonial power along with natural resources being stripped such as in the Congo or India. From the 19th century Jewish point of view, why shouldn’t they also go along with the European colonial vibe? A few decades later Japan demanded the same colonial privileges that Europe had long claimed.
The colonial mindset is group narcissism par excellence. In turn, the response by the exploited natives will vary. Some will submit to the colonizers, these types can be considered more on the co-dependent side of the spectrum. Other indigenous people will fight to the death when faced with a stronger colonizing power. Among Native Americans in the US this range of responses occurred. In the end their responses mattered little as both surviving Indians from both group narcissist and collective co-dependent tribes were equally marched on the Trail of Tears to open-air prisons called reservations.
The Palestinian equivalent to the Trail of Tears is the Nakba—proving yet again that losing wars has consequences. After being defeated by Israeli forces in 1948, Palestinian civilians were marched into various refugee camps throughout the Levant. Wikipedia has a surprisingly frank account of the Palestinian expulsion:
<…> more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs – about half of prewar Mandatory Palestine's Arab population – fled from their homes or were expelled by Zionist militias during the 1948 Palestine war, following the Partition Plan for Palestine. The expulsion and flight was a central component of the fracturing, dispossession, and displacement of Palestinian society, known as the Nakba. Between 400 and 600 Palestinian villages were destroyed. Village wells were poisoned in a biological warfare programme and properties were looted to prevent Palestinian refugees from returning.
The Middle East is a tough neighbourhood and over the years Israel has developed a doctrine of overwhelming force to maintain its independence. In 1967, when Arab armies threatened to invade, Israel took pre-emptive measures and launched a brutal and wildly successful Six-Day War of conquest, which has some similarities to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, albeit on a smaller scale and so far less successful. Israel conquered and occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Desert. Only the latter was eventually returned to Egypt. 1967 was the year of peak Israeli power, where the military differential with her Arab neighbours was at its highest. In 1973, Arab armies launched a surprise attack and what followed was a difficult war from which Israel barely emerged victorious.
Since then, Palestinian resistance, obviously stoked by group narcissism, has failed where other insurgencies, for example in Algeria, had succeeded. One hypothesis is that the Palestinian resistance was split between the two extremes. Some Palestinians have openly collaborated with the Zionist occupier. Others, such as the PLO, engaged in flamboyant but ineffective “rock-star” terrorism, featuring high-profile airliner hijackings. Never did a Palestinian resistance group find the right combination of motivating narcissism tempered by strategic empathy.
Meanwhile, in 1982, Israel invaded her northern neighbour Lebanon. What emerged was the militant group Hezbollah, who waged a gritty, lunch pail insurgency against the IDF. Hezbollah was able to find the right combination of group narcissism and empathy to emerge victorious in 2000, as Israel was forced into a humiliating withdrawal, echoing the American defeat in Vietnam.
In 2006, Hezbollah and Israel fought to a ground combat stalemate. In revenge, and as a future deterrent, the Israeli air force carpet-bombed the Shia neighbourhood of Dahiya, a southern suburb of Beirut. Israel was attempting to respond to Mao Zedong’s famous dictum, “the guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.” by bombing the “sea” into oblivion.
Following American Shock-and-Awe bombing campaigns from Baghdad and Belgrade, in 2008 Israel felt comfortable announcing the Dahiya Doctrine, which promised the use of overwhelming force in response to any attacks:
The current predicament facing Israel involves two major challenges. The first is how to prevent being dragged into an ongoing dynamic of attrition on the northern border similar to what in recent years developed along the border with the Gaza Strip. The second is determining the IDF’s response to a large scale conflict both in the north and in the Gaza Strip. These two challenges can be overcome by adopting the principle of a disproportionate strike against the enemy’s weak points as a primary war effort, and operations to disable the enemy’s missile launching capabilities as a secondary war effort.
With an outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy's actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes. The strike must be carried out as quickly as possible, and must prioritize damaging assets over seeking out each and every launcher. Punishment must be aimed at decision makers and the power elite.
Israel does not have to be dragged into a war of attrition with Hizbollah. Israel’s test will be the intensity and quality of its response to incidents on the Lebanese border or terrorist attacks involving Hizbollah in the north or Hamas in the south. In such cases, Israel again will not be able to limit its response to actions whose severity is seemingly proportionate to an isolated incident. Rather, it will have to respond disproportionately in order to make it abundantly clear that the State of Israel will accept no attempt to disrupt the calm currently prevailing along its borders.
But over the past two years there has been a sea-change in war morality as the formerly bomb-happy West has reimagined itself as the paragon of military virtue by launching relentless prosecutorial attacks on Russian war conduct in Ukraine. Suddenly, everything changed. The saturation-bombing of civilians was no longer in fashion. But in the aftermath of Hamas’ surprise attack in October, Israel had no time to update her strategic doctrines to harmonize with the West’s new-found concern for civilian deaths. Israel’s one-and-only deterrence playbook calls for massive retaliation and the IDF dutifully began bombing Gaza back to the Stone Age. But the global information warfare environment cannot deal with such a sudden narrative shift. In desperation, the very same Western opinion leaders who were yesterday hurling accusatory war crime allegations against Russia, have today become so many Johnnie Cochrane’s in their blanket defences of Israeli actions.
Case Study: German Collective Co-dependence
It took 80 years for Germany to psychologically journey from one of the most group narcissistic societies in human history to one of the most collectively guilt-ridden and co-dependent. A lazy thinker could conclude that psychological extremism may be a German trait. Germany’s co-dependence towards the United States was demonstrated by allowing Uncle Sam to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines and not only refusing to confront the obvious perpetrator, but to then go on an gaslight a fable about Ukraine executing the attack. Nevertheless, Germany continues to send billions of Euros to Ukraine, despite this country supposedly being guilty of state terrorism against the German energy infrastructure.
In recent years the ecological movement in Germany has veered absurdly into environmental militarism. Led by their dual “war hippies'“ Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, the German Green Party leads a relentless campaign against Germany’s energy infrastructure while promoting levels of belligerence towards Russia not seen from Berlin since the launch of Operation Barbarossa, the massive German invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941. The origin of this drive is to please their American masters.
Recently German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck had the nerve to lecture the citizens of Ireland, who apparently made a huge mistake in seeing the current suffering of the Palestinians as similar to their own horrific abuse suffered under British colonial occupation, which in the minds of some still continues in Northern Ireland. Habeck basically told the Irish to walk on eggshells around Israel since Irish “anticolonialism must not lead to anti-Semitism.” Getting a lecture on anti-Semitism from Germany is like getting advice on monogamy from a porn star such as Mia Khalifa.
A few days later, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz further enabled Israel’s inalienable right to carpet-bomb Gaza:
Israel is a democracy. This has to be said very clearly. The accusations being made against Israel are absurd. Israel is acting in accordance with international law in defending itself against Hamas.
Scholz’s argument boils down to that since Israel is a “democracy” this means it is categorically incapable of committing war crimes. The US is considered a democracy by some and so were the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib torture prison incidents not war crimes? Scholz is mindlessly repeating Israeli talking-points much as Echo amplifies Narcissus’ self-serving utterances. There can be no better example of collective co-dependent enabling than Scholz proclaiming the infallibility of Israel’s military conduct.
Again, the key determining factor separating normal from dysfunction narcissism is the healthy presence—or maladjusted lack—of empathy towards enemies. Empathy is not just a warm and fuzzy value that feels good and makes us smug. It is not pity. Strategic empathy—the ability to get inside your opponent’s skin—is critical to winning power struggles. Success goes to those groups that combine balanced levels of narcissism and empathy. They get their drive to succeed from narcissism but are directed by empathy (knowing their enemy) in their war conduct. Defeat goes to those groups on either extremity of the narcissism / co-dependence spectrum.
A group narcissist’s idea that her tribe is infallible, or its mirror image of a collective co-dependent believing the group he enables is unquestionably superior, leaves zero psychological space for understanding either the ingroup or outgroup beyond cartoonish notions of absolute good and evil.
As always, not every member of a group follows its major tendencies. Individual group members will exist everywhere on the narcissism / co-dependence spectrum. There is certainly a minority of German citizens who reject their nation’s collective co-dependence, and are able to stand up for German interests while still maintaining empathy. There are surely a few others who harken back to the days when Germany slid too far towards the narcissism pole.
Equally there are plenty of Israelis who reject their group’s narcissism and have healthy empathy towards the Palestinians. Today Israel is a deeply divided society. While Prime Minister Netanyahu proudly leads the group narcissists, there are plenty of Israelis who can even be considered collectively co-dependent towards the Palestinians. But as of today though the narcissists in Israel hold the reigns of power.
The Hamas-Israel conflict has splintered both the right and left in the US. Commentators on both sides are forced to walk on eggshells lest they be accused of Holocaust denial or anti-Semitism. Histrionic pro-Israeli discourse must be spit and echoed in all directions. The boundary between a thinker’s will and that of Israeli narrative enforcers is often shattered.
Co-dependents never learn to nurture their own self-worth and are unable to see themselves as valuable and autonomous people. They only thrive on fixing, repairing, or caring for partners who are damaged and emotionally unavailable to return any love. Because of this co-dependents are unable to set and enforce boundaries.
Boundaries are the rules or the invisible walls or fences that divide people and keep the physical, emotional, and mental elements of life separate from those of the others around you.
Boundaries are also the rules by which we let people know what we will accept and what we do not accept. When we fail to set boundaries for ourselves, we automatically and by default allows others to set those boundaries. We also open ourselves up to having to deal continually with irrational and unreasonable expectations by those willing to take more than their fair share.
Co-dependents cannot draw a line in the sand that must be respected. Anxious about displeasing their partners and fearing rejection, their borders are left wide open to be crossed at anytime. All attempts at enforcing boundaries or building protective walls are considered a betrayal by their narcissistic partners and are met with howls of protest.
Attitudes towards borders are a key distinction between group narcissist and co-dependent societies. Israel has powerful border walls and a high-tech system of intrusion detection. All of this failed on October 7th but that wasn’t from want of effort. The US on the other hand has a wide-open Southern border that has provoked some reactive group narcissism in the US over the past decade.
Donald Trump rode white working class group narcissism to power in 2016. This movement was provoked by the economic damage wrought by offshoring, immigration and forever wars. Trump avoided starting any new wars, made some headway on trade, but for the most part failed to enforce boundaries on the Southern border.
The popular right has been split by the war in Palestine. While Trump himself has remained a steadfast Zionist, anti-war MAGA leaders are vehemently against any more wars for Israel. But the evangelical side of the movement has eschatological (end-time) visions of a Rapture and the return of Jesus Christ to rule the earth in a sort of Communist paradise for a thousand years. They need an apocalyptical war in the Holy Land to trigger the advent of the glorious latter days.
But soon crunch-time will arrive for Trump himself. The only way to Israel to “win” this war is through a massive expulsion of two million Palestinians from Gaza and plenty more from the West Bank. Trump, as an individual, is an apex narcissist, but he has shown plenty of signs of being a meek collective co-dependent towards Israel. So far he has rejected any notion of a Palestinian exodus to the US (and Europe). But we may soon see the dizzying sight of Trump recommending accepting Palestinian refugees while the woke left protests against such a move as ethnic cleansing. Both establishment wings of the two parties are firmly entrenched in a collective co-dependent posture towards Israel. Open resistance will be only possible from the group narcissistic identitarian wings of the two parties: portions of the woke left and the MAGA right.
With that said, there have been signs in recent days of the US establishment quietly awakening to the fact that this Israeli offensive is undermining the global American diplomatic position and strengthening that of the Primal Horde led by China, Russia and Iran. The US did allow a “humanitarian pause in Gaza” resolution to pass the UN Security Council. President Biden’s party, after years of preaching anti-colonialism and stoking group narcissism among “people of color” is suddenly surprised that Israel would be slotted into the “white” and “oppressor” side of the binary equations their followers have been taught to think in. The gapping ideological cleavage on Zionism between the aging Boomers (born between 1945-65) and the emerging Zoomers (born between (1995-2010) is due primarily to different value judgements over which side is good or evil.
At the time of this writing, given the size of the potential bang that would ensue if things got out of control, the war in Palestine may be going out with a whimper. In other words, there are signs the more self-preservative, narcissistic side of the Collective West is starting to assert itself towards Israel. But any reigning-in of the Israeli war machine will represent a humiliating loss of prestige for Benjamin Netanyahu and so he may still have a few cards to play to force the US hand to wage a wider Middle Eastern war for Israel’s security.
Hezbollah also has a vote on this matter. They are waging a steady but low-intensity conventional campaign against the IDF in northern Israel. But Israel cannot win a war of attrition against Hezbollah. Their only remaining gambit is to carpet bomb Beirut, but given the uproar over Gaza, what will be the international reaction if Israel unleashes the Dahiya Doctrine over Lebanon?