Prof. Paul Eidelberg
British recognition of Palestinian statehood corresponds to British appeasement of Nazi Germany, which recalls the adage, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose: The more it changes, the more it's the same. British appeasement of despotism led to World War II. It may very well lead to World War III.
George Orwell attributed British appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s to the pervasive doctrine of moral relativism then and still propagated by English universities. The same relativism underlies British recognition of Palestinian statehood. Melanie Phillips excoriates this relativism in her book The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (2010). So does Theodore Dalrymple in Our Culture, What’s Left of It (2005).
During World War II, American-born William Joyce, known as Lord Haw-Haw, became a Nazi propaganda broadcaster to England. His job was to undermine English morale. He had unwitting if not witting allies among England’s Left. Prominent among England’s anti-war protesters were intellectuals who hated Churchill. Haw-Haw was eventually captured and executed for treason by the British as a result of his wartime activities.
More recently, in September 2010, an American convert to Islam, Adam Gadahn, who became an English-language spokesman for al-Qaeda in the United States, was indicted in absentia by a federal grand jury for treason, “Aiding and Abetting al-Qaeda” (18 U.S.C. § 2339B). We have here a paradoxical phenomenon: Leftists, usually atheists, allied with Muslims.
To understand this phenomenon, we can hardly do better than study the letters and journalism of George Orwell. Although Orwell was, in sentiment, a socialist, he deplored England’s leftwing intelligentsia – especially its academics. He scorned the “emotional shallowness” of intellectuals who live in the world of ideas and have little contact with physical reality. He saw that many intellectuals of the Left were severed from the common culture of their country. “England,” said Orwell, “is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality” – precisely the feeling of many leftwing American professors.