November 11, 2011

It's not just the Left either

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 toneSuch 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.


  1. Heya School,

    nicely said.

    It's difficult for me to see exactly where we disagree.

    My view, as you know, is that Jewish people should boycott the Democratic Party, at least for this cycle, due to the party's complicity in advancing the anti-Zionist movement.

    It is time, as people who care about Israel, to send a strong message to the party leadership that we will not tolerate the American president telling Jews where they may be allowed to live in the Jewish city of Jerusalem.

    As for demonization of progressives or Democrats, your message is received and it is something that I will keep in mind.

    Perhaps it will disincline me from comparing progressives to Nazis!


    You are, btw, free to cross-post your material at my place if you so wish.

    Just say the word and I will give you the keys to the car.


  2. I will keep that in mind and appreciate the words. You are right. We do not disagree except on the fringes and tone perhaps.

    I think it's okay to make comparisons about behavior of actors.

    The closest to Nazis, to me, are the adherents of the Mufti and al-Banna, although that is taboo to raise for many, despite the historical basis.

    Leftists, on the other hand, behave in the tradition of Lenin and Stalin, and are extremely hostile to free expression of others.

    Of course, it's more complex, and there is overlap. Both sides share a totalitarian concept of governance.

    As to Israel's standing, did you see this article that shows Americans are not about to abandon Israel?

    Netanyahu received an average score of 52.3 in the poll, compared to only 51.5 which Obama received. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas scored 26.8 while his rival Hamas received an average score of 19.5. The Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror group received an average score of 20.1.

    Most of the respondents – 60% – said they believe Netanyahu is making efforts to achieve a peace agreement with the PA. Of these, 11% said that the Prime Minister is making enormous efforts to achieve peace.

    Conversely, 52% of respondents thought that Abbas does not aspire to reach peace with Israel through negotiations. Of these, 15% said that Abbas has been making no attempt to negotiate with Israel and 39% said that Abbas is making efforts to reach a peace agreement.

    The poll also found that Israel’s popularity has increased among Americans and is at its highest since 2007.