May 9th, 2024

(For the SoundCloud audio, scroll down)

One of the most fascinating ethical narratives of the Talmud (Shabbat 31a) recalls an engaging exchange between Hillel the Elder and a potential convert to Judaism. The non-Jewish inquirer challenges Hillel to summarize the entire Torah as he listens while balancing on one foot, a seemingly impossible task given the vast and intricate nature of the Torah’s teachings.

Hillel’s response is both profound and concise: “Do not treat others in a way that you would find hateful. This is the essence of the Torah – the rest is simply commentary. Now, go and study it.”

Hillel’s principle, which he presented as a condensation of the entire Torah, is a derivation of the biblical directive in Parshat Kedoshim: “Love your neighbor as [you love] yourself!” (Lev. 19:18). This fundamental ideal of Judaism establishes the core value of reciprocity and mutual respect.

Indeed, Hillel’s interpretation should serve as the cornerstone of ethical consistency in any and every socio-political movement that seeks to improve the lives of the underdog and those on the margins of society. Which raises the question: if ideological activists advocate for actions against others that they would deem objectionable if done to them, is this not blatant and fundamental hypocrisy?

This question is particularly pertinent regarding modern neo-Marxist advocates, who often suggest or actively employ extreme tactics to dismantle systems they perceive as oppressive or exploitative. Neo-Marxism is the modern iteration of Marxism and communism, now reimagined and reformulated in the context of present-day socio-economic structures. It expands on Marxist ideology by assimilating concepts from diverse areas of academic study to underscore the significance of culture and ideology as potent tools of control.

Neo-Marxist ideology suggests that capitalist societies not only deliberately sustain economic disparities, but that they also exploit cultural and political establishments to reinforce these inequalities. Neo-Marxists push for the proactive disintegration of these structures in order to establish a social system that dovetails with their radical egalitarian ideology – which, according to them, is the only just form of society. What is so strange is that, to achieve this end, they resort to aggressive and disruptive methods, such as militant civil disobedience, rather than peaceful means.

Over the past few weeks, we have all witnessed the blatant manifestation of ruthless neo-Marxist tactics in the brazen establishment of tent encampments on prestigious college campuses throughout the United States. These encampments, masquerading as displays of solidarity with the Palestinian people, are nothing more than a calculated ploy. Under the guise of advocating for Palestinian rights in the aftermath of Israel’s incursion into Gaza after the Hamas massacre of 1200 Israelis last October, these encampments are in reality the visible instruments of well-funded Neo-Marxist organizations orchestrating the unrest from behind the scenes.

The ultimate goal of this current neo-Marxist protest spasm is to sow chaos and discord, using the Israel/Palestine conflict as a Trojan Horse to infiltrate and normalize their radical, anti-Western ideologies. The insidious strategy is to subvert traditional democratic values and impose a dangerous and extremist progressive agenda.

With the current high-profile conflict in Gaza being used as a distraction, Neo-Marxist forces seek to influence those on the left who sympathize with the plight of Palestinians to join forces with their radical agenda, using a clever combination of bait-and-switch manipulation tactics and outright deceit.

Their target audience – hapless students and well-meaning social activists – must not allow themselves to sleepwalk into this trap. And the key to exposing the ugly nature of those behind this campaign must be Hillel the Elder’s ethical maxim, which promotes a universal standard of behavior and empathy above all. In his words: “Do not treat others in a way that you would find hateful.”

Clearly Hillel’s principle stands in stark contrast to current Neo-Marxist tactics – intimidation, disruption, discrimination, and violence. While the protester cheerleaders justify their actions as necessary tools against oppressive systems, would they not find these same tactics reprehensible if used against them?

The exploitation of the Israel-Palestine conflict to propagate Neo-Marxist ideals in Western democracies has revealed a blatant inconsistency. While some “useful idiot” campus activists may see the tent encampments as a legitimate form of protest against what they perceive as injustice against Palestinians, the fact that the leaders of these protests have allowed these protests to descend into anarchy and open Jew-hatred should be the red flag that wakes them up to the true purpose of the campaign. People who genuinely care for the suffering of the underdog cannot allow themselves to be used as pawns in an ideological war that seeks the destruction of the very freedoms they claim to uphold.

Clearly, there is a profound dissonance between the professed aims of the Neo-Marxists and their tactics. The irony of protesting “occupation” while occupying college campuses is just too obvious not to notice.

Utilizing strategies such as force and coercion while advocating against the alleged aggression of Israel towards Palestinians exposes a clear moral inconsistency.

Calling for the destruction of the State of Israel while claiming to care for the establishment of a Palestinian state exposes a clear moral inconsistency.

Accusing Israel of racism and prejudice against a minority population while discriminating against Jewish students on campus who refuse to join their cause exposes a clear moral inconsistency.

The targeting of Jewish individuals or symbols under the banner of anti-Zionism exposes a clear moral inconsistency. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Consistency is crucial when it comes to the ethical grounding of socio-political movements. Hillel the Elder’s straightforward yet profound guidance, “Do not treat others in a way that you would find hateful” is a timeless measure for evaluating the morality of those who claim to care for others, particularly in the realm of activism. Neo-Marxist strategies, particularly in recent months, have exposed a significant failure to uphold this ethical standard. And the inconsistencies not only undermine the credibility of the protests, but also hinder their potential to bring about the meaningful and enduring change they claim to represent.

If these social justice protesters were truly interested in being constructive and helping the Palestinians, they would adopt methods that align closely with their own declared ideals – namely, promoting dialogue over confrontation while ensuring the tactics they employ do not mirror the injustices they claim to want to abolish. Critically, they would foster an environment where self-criticism is valued, and ethical consistency is prioritized.

If pro-Palestinian activists held themselves to the same standards they demand of others, they would not only bolster their own moral standing but would also enhance their persuasiveness and appeal. So far, the protesters have rejected any such approach, which only confirms that their true motives – and the motives of their insidious Neo-Marxist paymasters – is anarchy and chaos, and the downfall and destruction of those they have deemed oppressors. In short, we are witnessing a replay of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary ideals that caused so much misery and suffering in the twentieth century, and that we erroneously thought were a thing of the past. Sadly, the fight is far from over – and the sooner we recognize that reality, the better.

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