Friday, February 10, 2012

Has the Left Betrayed the Jews?: A Discussion


{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives}

I want to thank fizziks for taking the time to respond to my recent piece, "Where Am I Wrong, Fizziks?"

I also very much hope that he doesn't mind if I front page it, because I want to take some time to consider his thoughtful and intelligent response, which I am publishing below.

My thesis is that the progressive movement, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party, has betrayed its Jewish constituency through accepting anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the larger coalition.

In the previous piece I offered four pieces of evidence.

1) That the larger progressive and Democratic blogs and journals express, at worst, a true hatred for the Jewish state and, at best, a comfortable acceptance of that hatred.

2) The ongoing agitation of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists within large Democratic and progressive venues such as Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the UK Guardian.

3) The polling which consistently shows that Republicans and conservatives are far more well-disposed to Israel than are Democrats and progressives. (Naturally, I will dig up those links in my response to fizziks.)

4) And the fact that Israel is the only country on the face of the planet in which progressives discuss whether or not it should ever have come into existence and whether or not it should continue to exist.

Below is fizziks' considered response and I will respond back in the coming days.

Mike L. (AKA "Karmafish")

First, let me say that I don't ever read Huffington Post. I have no doubt that it is every bit as vile as Daily Kos if not moreso, but I just don't know enough about it to comment. The Guardian is a UK-based site and therefore not relevant to analyzing domestic political attitudes.

There is no doubt that Daily Kos is chock full of, and a home for, antisemites and anti-Zionists, and those are one in the same. And also that Markos Moulitsas himself is an antisemite, if not in intent, then certainly in effect, but my personal hunch is that it is both. That is why I left there, after all. And I fully believe you that Huffington Post is just as bad, if not worse.

Where we disagree in our analysis is whether Daily Kos et al., and the attitudes we see there, are representative of, or important in, the Democratic party. I believe the answer is no. Daily Kos is a forum that superficially claims the mantle of the Democratic party, but has been drifting from that for years, as evidenced by both the change in orientation in the readership away from mainstream Democratic party political participation (i.e. most people there will not vote for Obama, etc) and a change in the official mantra (i.e. it is no longer 'more and better Democrats'). I assume Huffington Post is similar.

In my view, these mentioned blogs are simply not places that are representative of, or important in, Democratic party politics. Therefore they cannot be used, at this time, as evidence of problems with the 'Democratic base' in regard to Israel. They are no more representative of the base of the Democratic party than Mondoweiss, where everyone to a man is a Ron Paul supporter, is representative of the base of the Republican party.

Just look at what happens in Daily Kos, versus in the 'real world', even in the most 'progressive' environments. For instance, anti-Israel measures have consistently failed in food co-ops around the country. Now you can't tell me that organic foodie stores in Ann Arbor, Park Slope, Seattle, Davis, Sacramento, and a host of other places are not representative of at least a slice of the progressive movement and Democratic base. And yet these communities have repeatedly defeated anti-Israel activity, even when deceptively wrapped up in the banner of 'peace'. As did the whole liberal town of Sommerville, MA, overwhelmingly. It doesn't get any more 'Democratic Base' than Sommerville.

As I have documented here many times, no national politicians of the Democratic party are open anti-Zionists. None. None have openly embraced any of the rhetoric or aims of anti-Zionism. None. The same cannot be said of the Republican party, by the way, where such Ron Paul has done just that, and is polling around 15-20%.

In fact, you are just incorrect when you imply that the 'progressive movement' is unique in questioning Israel's right to exist. Ron Paul did not only question it, he flatly stated it, and yet is polling 15-20% among Republican voters.

Do those generic 'support for Israel' poll numbers concern me? Yes they do, a bit. But what matters is that the Democratic Party, from its platform to the rhetoric of all of its politicians, has in no way embraced any anti-Zionism. I will gladly concede to you the day that it does.

In short, Daily Kos, and these other places like HuffPo, are rarified worlds that do not, a present, reflect the real world of the Democratic Party. Daily Kos is at present full of deranged keyboard warriors, most of whom are not even Democrats, and has a presently active readership of maybe 10,000 people. It has no prestige or power in the Democratic establishment anymore, and its' views, as evidenced by my co-op example above, do not reflect the views of the base of the Democratic party. Neither do the derangers at protests documented by Zombietime and so on. Those people are not Democrats. I am fighting like hell to keep it that way.



Anonymous said...

I think to some extent you are right, but the left learning Zionists are complicit for allowing this to happen. The appropriate response is not a lemming like exodus to the Republican party. The response is embracing the progressive roots of Zionism. Openly and publicly.

fizziks said...

Umm, I dispute your title.

I think the whole point of the dispute is what is meant by "the left" relative to the Democratic Party, and if what the former does should lead us to punish the later.

If by "the left" you mean the far left, then there is no discussion here. Of course they have betrayed the Jews, by openly embracing extreme anti-Zionism and fomenting an alliance with genocidal Jihadists. The topic that is worth discussing is how much, if any, the Democratic Party has in what has happened with the far left.

Anonymous said...

It seems Obama has betrayed Israel and so have the Jews, I asked them to help protect the Galilee and help the starving people in East Africa with the Israel Longhorn Project and all I get is silence. Not only that but "Progressvie Jews" in the New Israel Fund was attacking the very ranches that I was trying to help.

(I have the documents of the attacks)