by Daniel Carter
During a violent and chaotic conflict on Monday, 59 Palestinians were killed when thousands of them gathered at the Gaza border fence to protest the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. These violent clashes have been going on as long as Israel has been a nation, but this instance has people speaking out unusually loudly on both sides. The moralists spoke out against the harsh violence used by the Israeli military. Those sympathetic to Israel have said that Israel was simply defending its borders. Both arguments are valid depending on your perspective.
However, one of the loudest pro-Israel voices caught my attention for reasons other than the basic Israel vs. Palestine rhetoric. Ben Shapiro, one of the most famous conservative political commentators in the world, seems to have shifted his previous stance on identity politics. Shapiro has often equated identity politics to an abomination that is tearing at the fabric of Western society. But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few clips of Shapiro dismantling leftist identity politics:
Ben Shapiro has boosted his career by pointing out the absurdity of identity politics on the left. In fact, I came across his videos because I was disgusted by the left’s identity politics and I wanted to hear some good arguments against it. He’s right about identity politics being wrong. We should view people as individuals instead of their race, gender, sexual preferences or any other of their immutable characteristics. Just because someone is not a straight white male doesn’t mean they have to go along with the leftist agenda.
So, does the fact that Shapiro is Jewish determine how he views Israeli policy? Would he view it the same way if he wasn’t Jewish? Maybe, but I doubt it. Shapiro also says he is against right-wing identity politics in the US. The right-wing identitarians call for ethno-nationalism, which would consist of a country entirely made up of white people. Ben and most Americans consider this an immoral solution to ethnic disputes. Nevertheless, when it comes to Israel, Shapiro is a staunch supporter of their ethno-state.
Shapiro also claims to be a fiscal conservative. However, he would likely never suggest stopping the almost $4 billion in aid the US gives to Israel every year. Four billion dollars may not seem like a lot in the context of the full US budget, but the entangled alliance with Israel also requires the US to engage in military conflicts with Syria and Iran for the “defense” of Israel. The US relationship with Israel is quite costly to the US and would seem to go against Shapiro’s preaching of smaller government. Yet, Shapiro can’t resist the urge to put his identity first.
Shapiro is letting his hypocrisy show when it comes to Israel. Because of his Jewish heritage he must stick up for Israel, even at the expense of the US. The Israel-Palestine conflict should be of little concern to US citizens. It’s happening thousands of miles away between Muslims and Jews. Shapiro can tell blacks, Muslims, LGBTQ people, Latinos, women and others to quit retreating into their identity, but he won’t take his own advice when it comes to Jewish identity. This level of hypocrisy will only weaken the conservative movement.