Thursday, October 6, 2011

Can Jews Participate on the Progressive-Left?

It is becoming harder and harder for Jewish people to participate in the politics of the progressive-left and the activist base of the Democratic party. The reason for this, as we clearly see from Volleyboy1's banning from Daily Kos, is that standing up for the Jewish people and the Jewish state is, strangely enough, considered controversial within progressive venues.

If one dares to stand up for the Jewish people in progressive-left venues, this makes one some sort-of knuckle dragging, illiberal reactionary... a Republican in sheep's clothing... someone to be fought and not to be trusted... the other... the enemy. This is unfortunate, of course, because were it not for this fact then Jewish people could be fighting for social justice, economic justice, an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but instead we are forced to defend our fellow Jews in Israel from constant defamation.

Whatever else anyone might say, this is not good for either the progressive-left or the Democratic Party. Jews have done an awful lot to build both the party and the movement over the last one hundred years. Jews were at the forefront of the New Deal, the movement for Civil Rights under Martin Luther King, Jr., the anti-war movement and the New Left, Gay Rights, Women's Rights, Environmentalism, and the struggle of ethnic minorities.

We have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the progressive-left for almost one hundred years.

Things are clearly changing, however. If venues like Daily Kos can be taken as representative of the political left, which I believe that they can be, then they are signaling their willingness to throw Jews under the bus in favor of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism. Needless to say, I think that this is a huge mistake, but it is hardly up to me.

The grassroots of the party is under no particular obligation to care about the well-being of Jewish people and if they are in the process of deciding that we are as nasty as anti-Zionists tell them that we are, then they have every right to hound us out of the movement if they so desire. They have every right to do as they will with their own political movement, just as we have every right to participate or not.

To get a sense of what we must deal with on a more or less daily basis within progressive circles perhaps this comment from an intruder into Volley's blog The Progressive Zionist will suffice:

Anonymous said...

I prefer you shut the fuck up you hateful piece of trash. Jew-hatred? Good one. Did you rip that one off of Daniel Pipes or are you just ad libbing karmafish now?

MBNYC I wonder, does the JDL now accept homosexuals or do you hide your sexuality so you can bash Palestinians with them?

October 6, 2011 7:40 AM

I am not suggesting that most people on the progressive-left reflect such "thinking." Merely that this is precisely the kind of thing that we have to face if we wish to be supportive of Jewish people on the Left.

One of the primary differences between Volleyboy and myself is that Volley seeks to work within the progressive-left as an advocate for the Jewish people and the Jewish state. That is NOT an easy thing to do these days precisely because the base of the party, and the movement, itself, are not in sympathy with us. They are in sympathy with every other ethnic minority, but not us.

Given this fact, I have chosen to operate outside of the progressive movement. For years I was on the inside. I donated both time and money for the purpose of electing more and better Democrats. I marched against the wars and phone banked for progressive Democratic candidates. But, sadly, those days are gone.

But, y'know, there is one very nice thing about being independent and that is the freedom to think as one will. We don't usually realize the extent to which our political inclinations are so often not really our own, but that which is expected of us. Volley, right on the heals of Paul's banning, just got the boot from Daily Kos. I am guessing that he will feel this more strongly than he will admit to. Certainly I did.


But, it also will give him elbow room to think on the issues in any way he pleases without having to conform to the crude ideological requirements of the mob.

And that, my friends, is a very good thing.


  1. We all know what WILL get you banned at dKos but what is interesting is what WON'T.

    Assafiban if you recall posted a diary which essentially called OBAMA a two bit whore for Zog. Against his will mind you but still a Zionist puppet. Yes, that kind of insulting and antisemitic crap will NOT get you banned.

    How can any self respecting sane individual NOT want to get banned by dKos considering what passes for being good Kossack commentary? Are there any real Democrats at dKos that they allow such an outrageous insult to stand? Can so few see that such an attack is straight out of places like Stormfront for G-d's sake? The fact that this follows on the hills of the black/female exodus from dKos over racism/antifeminism should be a huge red flag for those who suppose them selves progressives.

    The place is and always will be a sty.

  2. I joined in June of 2005 and therefore had a UID number of a little over 50,000.

    At the time I was grateful for the joint because we were still in the post 9/11 jingoism of the Bush era.

    Also, at that time I was not particularly concerned about Israel. I imagine that my feelings for the Jewish state were not so different from your average Italian-American's feelings about Italy. That is, I was glad Israel is out there, but I felt no hard concern for its well-being.

    It was only after I really saw the hatred that was being spewed on a daily basis by the likes of Lefty Coaster and the Weasel that I came to understand that our own political movement has taken the fight to us.

  3. Well you don't have to worry about the weasel... He got Bojo'd as well...