By destroying posters of Hamas’ Israeli hostages, America’s left has removed its mask. Their incessant virtue-signaling comes with a demand for virtue-sharing: theirs, and theirs only. Their high-flown phrases of justice and rights carry an implicit message: These are allotted only to them and theirs.
After the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, posters of Hamas’ hostages went up in many public places. The intent was to remind us that there were still victims beyond the many slain and wounded. These were not just numbers but human beings. The posters put faces on victims who now hang suspended like marionettes for their captors to dangle before the world.
Despite the good intent, a sick response has emerged to these attempts to inject humanity into the midst of the inhuman: Many of these posters have been intentionally ripped down and destroyed.
It is important to note what these acts of destruction are not. There is no proactive expression by the destroyers — no declaration of what they are saying, what they stand for, or any show of support for those they prefer to have recognized as victims. Such declarations, however much we might disagree with them, would be their free expressions.
Instead, the destruction of Israeli hostage posters is a denial in every sense. Those who care about the hostages are being told they have no right of expression. This is pure censorship — not the faux kind that many leftists continually try to claim for themselves, when what they really are lamenting is the consequences for their revolting expressions of antisemitism and calls for Israel’s destruction.
The left’s denial goes far deeper too. It is ultimately a denial of Israel itself. And it extends to a human and existential level. It is a denial that these hostages are even victims. It is a denial of them as people.
These denials of the most basic elements of humanity tell us all we need to know about America’s self-styled “progressive” left. There is no progress here, only extreme retrogression into savage subjectivity.
Revealing Rank Hypocrisy
Clearly, the destruction of these Israeli hostage posters reveals the rank hypocrisy of the left. Yet it goes much further than that. It is a revelation of the left’s deliberateness in their actions: a premeditation, a manipulation, a calculation that lies behind all that they do.
There is no seriousness in the left’s calls for “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” or DEI. The left has no interest in diversity; certainly the addition of Israel is not desired by the left. The left has no interest in inclusion — not if it means including Israeli hostages. Sadly, the left does demand equity, but only in the worst sense of rank relativism: that Israeli victims and Hamas terrorists must somehow be accorded equal status despite their separation by all objective standards.
The left’s destruction of the Israeli hostage posters tells us all their virtue-signaling signs are an utter sham. “Love Lives Here”? Not so much. “All Are Welcome Here”? Not if you are an Israeli or apparently even a Jew. “Reject Hate”? The left’s acts of destruction are nothing but hate’s acceptance in its vilest and most violent of forms.
During the Black Lives Matter movement several years ago, there was a debate that the call should be that “all lives matter.” The left shut down and shouted down such calls; they told us one group had been so singled out that that group’s lives had to be solely recognized. And the left largely prevailed. Now, viewing their reaction to the Israeli hostages, we clearly see why they were so unwilling to embrace all lives mattering. To them, some clearly do not.
The left’s signs and slogans do not mean what they say because they do not share with the rest of us an objective meaning of language. They use words only in a subjective way: a code only they understand. Their words have meaning only for them and the causes they embrace.
The left’s tearing down of the Israeli hostage posters is an expression even more than an action. As much as their pro-Hamas chants and their antisemitic slogans, it is loud. It is articulate. It is vile. It is disgusting. And it should be profoundly disturbing.
Americans should ensure we are listening closely to the left. We should not be turning a deaf ear to them. Rather, we should be fully taking in the left’s true meaning: It tells us all we need to know about who they are and the values they hold.