Recently, on a blog I like to read and make comments at, generally in support, the host responded to me and some others that we were "desperately attempting to protect the Democratic party by pretending it has nothing to do with the progressive-left."
One need only read what I have written here to date to see the statement is not accurate, at least to me. I am not protecting the Democratic Party at all. I am one of its critics. I do not yet believe it has become anti-Israel as a whole, however. I believe there is room for education to tilt the balance and counteract the loud and active anti-Israel voices that predominate the more leftist regions of the Democratic spectrum. These voices make so much commotion and bring forth so much white noise and intellectual gobbledygook that it's easy to believe they are compelling and exist in far greater numbers.
I believe it's a mistake to give up on open minded Democrats whose natural instinct is to look at the issues from different sides, but who often are deprived of information from which to make accurate and intelligent judgments on these issues. Even so, most come down on the side of Israel. Perhaps they know, innately, it is their side as well. Events that happen before our eyes usually are more convincing than intellectual theory that tells us day is night and war is peace.
It is not just the anti-Israel Leftists that create the muddle. One large problem of many pro-Israel advocates is their similar tendency to demonize those on the other side, mirroring what the anti-Israel side does regularly in tone. Such demonization is almost always unnecessary. Pro-Israel arguments, especially, are powerful and speak for themselves. They lose effect when superfluous insults and labels get thrown about. Open-minded folks already find the Arab-Israeli conflict confusing. When it becomes a matter of finger pointing and disparagement, the matter becomes a blur.
Pejorative arguments are weak and turn off the intended listener, fence sitter or adversary. Such arguments abound in echo chambers where a single voice is generally put forth like red meat for a carnivorous mob, or in the food fights that sometimes occur. In these venues, I doubt if anyone is actually persuaded, if any minds are changed, if anyone is educated. These attempts at discourse are useless and non-productive, and I suggest best to avoid. If nothing else they keep the diehards off the streets and comfortably in front of their keyboards, engaged in virtual battle.
I will generally be critical of the Left, of which I am a member. I believe we should look at our own conduct before throwing blame at others. I believe one must adhere to core values, and in discourse this means tolerance and civility. That said, activists of the Right are often no better in their behavior and treatment of others. Sometimes I shake my head at how hateful it gets. On many occasions, great content becomes useless because of an almost insatiable need to include an unnecessary insult about those who honestly disagree.
If only it would stop, from both sides, but particularly from those who put forth a pro-Israel message and who defend liberal values of universal human rights. Support those values means to act in conformity, particularly when in the eye of the storm. I firmly believe that people looking for real information will notice, will appreciate the efforts to inform, civilly, and will respond positively. When advocacy and discussion on these important, complex, and controversial issues leaves the demonizing of others behind, those who thirst for information win, and those who are truly interested in solving conflict have a better chance of success.
So it goes.