Thursday, February 23, 2012
Brief Notes: On Grooves and Ruts
We spend a lot of time around these parts criticizing political Islam (for its genocidal tendencies), the progressive-left (for its acceptance of political Islam), and progressive Zionism (for its failure to stand up when it counts).
Part of the reason that progressive Zionism fails is because they are, in my opinion, in an ideological rut. They’re just playing the same records, the same old LPs, over and over and over again until the grooves are worn and useless.
We have got to move beyond old ways of thinking because times have simply changed. Here are two examples. Let us consider, in broad strokes, the progressive movement and the Oslo peace process. It is obvious that neither are particularly viable in advancing peace for, or the well-being of, the Jewish people. This is difficult to imagine to many, many people (Jew or non-Jew) because both movements long ago took on lives of their own that are entirely distinct from their actual utility for good.
American Jews, needless to say, were central to the development of the progressive movement as it emerged out of nineteenth century abolitionism. The progressive movement is as American as baseball and your grandma. (Maybe not my grandma, but that’s beside the point.) The reason that Jews went into that movement is obvious. We were a persecuted minority and it was the progressive movement which stood up for black people and women and labor and persecuted minorities like the Jews.
But times, my friends, have changed. When I look at the progressive movement now what I see is a political structure, bolstered by an ideology, that is directly harmful to the well-being of the Jewish people because it is directly harmful to the well-being of the Jewish state. The polls remain consistent. Conservatives and Republicans have much higher rates of friendliness toward Israel than do liberals and Democrats. That is simply a fact.
Although there is anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on the far fringy right, it is on the left where anti-Semitic anti-Zionism is being mainstreamed and institutionalized. Within the Democratic Party, within the mainstream liberal news outlets and many unions, many universities, and some “high” denominational churches, Israel is persistently defamed and demonized. Thus anti-Semitic anti-Zionism is a growing problem on the left and one that we need to consider when we think about our political allegiances.
BDS, of course, is also left-wing.
So, why should Jewish people support a political movement, the progressive-left, that also supports people who seek to rob Jews of self-determination and self-defense?
It makes no sense.
Furthermore, given the fact that the progressive movement no longer even stands for universal human rights, as we can plainly see from their near total disinterest in Darfur or the Congo or the Kurds or Tibet, not to mention the civil liberties of women and gays and Jews in the Middle East, why should we maintain any allegiance to a shell of a political movement that incorporates elements that are directly hostile toward Jewish well-being?
As for the peace process, it is over.
There is no peace process. Is that not obvious? The truth is that there never has been an actual peace process with the Palestinians. The reason for this is not because of those insidious conservative Likudnik followers of Jabotinsky and that Devil Incarnate, Meir Kahane, but because Muslim religious prejudice does not allow Jewish sovereignty on land that was swiped by Arabs shortly after Muhammed kicked the bucket.
That’s the truth.
And because that is the truth we need to start thinking in different terms than we did, say, when Clinton was president and when we still hoped for a negotiated end of conflict. If the Palestinians refuse to accept a state for themselves in peace next to Israel, then we need a unilateral solution. What that unilateral solution might look like is open for discussion. But to continue praying that if only we can yank enough Jews out of Judea it will produce peace is beyond wishful thinking.
It is, in fact, ridiculous.
We need to break out of the progressive Zionist rut.