Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Marginal and Irrelevant Can Progressives Be?

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is the largest Democratic caucus in the United States Congress with currently about 83 members. Whatever that number means, it definitely shows that the progressive movement is hardly irrelevant in American politics.

The progressive movement, furthermore, has betrayed the Jewish people through its acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of its larger constituency. I know that I've mentioned this, oh, once or twice before, but it must be repeated until people finally realize the truth of the claim.

I find myself, furthermore, unimpressed with efforts to either diminish the role of the progressive movement in western politics (in order to suggest that is irrelevant) or to somehow separate the progressive movement from its home in the Democratic Party.

What Jewish people who care about Israel need to do now is acknowledge the obvious fact that the progressive movement, and the Democratic Party, are harmful to the Jewish people. This is the truth and I intend to repeat this truth many, many times before November of next year.

Face facts.

The President of the United States has thrown any possibility of a negotiated settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict into the garbage by foolishly demanding unacceptable preconditions for negotiations of the Prime Minister of Israel who he disdains.

Democrats, while not officially endorsing the anti-Semitic anti-Zionist and BDS movement, nonetheless provide venues for that movement and thereby have thrown Jewish people under the bus. They do so because they must feel, and for very good reasons, that Jewish people can be taken entirely for granted. They must feel that they own us, lock, stock, and barrel, otherwise they might not be so quick to stand with those who would see us harmed.

What I am saying here is pretty much what I have been saying all the way through, but I want to yet again emphasize the central conclusion, which is:

Stand up. Say "NO." And refuse to vote for Democrats this cycle.

Barack Obama has pretty much been a disaster on every level, foreign and domestic. It's bad enough to reward failure but if we vote for Obama in '12 we are not only rewarding failure, but rewarding hostility. If we reward hostility we will get nothing but more hostility.

I recommend against.


  1. What exactly do you see as the nexus between the progressive caucus in congress and anti-Israel self-identified progressives? Just the name?

    And we disagree on Obama. If either side is not ready to negotiate, then there is very little he can do.

  2. "They must feel that they own us, lock, stock, and barrel,"

    Telling Israeli where they can and cannot build in their own sovereign land is a symptom of that belief.

  3. Consider also the EU outrage at the new bill in Israel to limit foreign contribution to NGO's. Here's a guy who has it right:

    "So the idea here, obviously is that a “democratic” country must allow foreign governments, who represent foreign citizens and not Israelis, to interfere in its domestic politics by supporting organizations that range from the fringe left to beyond the fringe left. Now that is chutzpah!
    Imagine if Israel was funneling millions of Euros annually to Basque separatists in Spain, Flemish nationalists in Belgium, or to one of numerous neo-fascist fronts in Norway and France. I have a very strong feeling that the EU’s views of what “democratic” countries must tolerate from foreign governments would change rather quickly."

    Somehow everybody think they can shove Israel around. Fuck that.

  4. I don't understand how that is telling Israelis where they can and cannot build on their own sovereign land.

  5. Stuart, Israel is a sovereign country. What happens there is what they decide; not what Obama or Hilary or the "international community," decides. Make no mistake that all three of those actors have accepted the Palestinian stance that peace depends on Israelis stopping construction in their own country. And they actively pressure Israel to succumb.

  6. Stuart,

    All of the land, small as it is, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is the historical homeland of the Jewish people.

    No one seriously denies this.

    When Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton complain to the Israeli government about plans to build housing anywhere on that land... which they have done continually throughout this administration... then they are telling Jews where we may be allowed to live.

    It's medieval, actually, and it is pure racism, in fact.

  7. It has to do with the need for a two-state solution. For some reason liberal Jews have, for the most part, bought into the notion that if Jews live on the "West Bank" then Arabs cannot have a state there.

    It makes no sense to me, whatsoever.

    I am to understand that if Laurie and I move to Itamar this means that Netanyahu and Abbas cannot draw a line on a map?

  8. btw, Stuart?

    "What exactly do you see as the nexus between the progressive caucus in congress and anti-Israel self-identified progressives? Just the name?"

    I respect you well enough to recognize that you have a basic grounding in American history. That being the case, I understand that you know about the progressive movement as it derived from 19th century abolitionism and first generation feminism.

    I know that you know... that I know that you know... how the progressive movement was adopted by the Democratic Party in the 1930s under Franklin Roosevelt.

    So, really, to ask me to outline the "nexus" between Congressional progressives, the progressive-movement, and anti-Zionist progressives, just strikes me as a way to avoid the actual issue.

    The issue, as you understand, is the betrayal of the Jewish people by the progressive-left.

    That is the issue that we need to discuss.

  9. I agree, it is not sovereign Israeli territory.

    I think that it should go to the Palestinians... but what does that have to do with whether or not individual Jews happen to move into the area?

    If they were Zoroastrians or Rastafarians would anyone mind?

  10. Probably not. Or maybe, I have no idea. But neither Zoroastrians nor Rastafarians would be citizens of Israel. Nor would their home construction likely be sanctioned by the Israeli government. Or would their villages be subject to eventual mitigation in a settlement of where final borders are.

  11. Karma, you didn't quite give me an answer. You explained the nexus between elected Dems and the progressive movement. (though I think it's origin 70 some years ago is immaterial, as is the origin of the Republican party as the party of Lincoln.)

    What I asked was about the nexus between elected Dems that identify themselves as progressives, and the anti-Israel bigots that self identify as progressive. I don't think there is one.

  12. Stuart,

    why should Jews not be allowed to live in Judea?

    That's the question.

  13. I've already answered that for you many times. Palestinians see the settlements as an act of war. As siezing their land. I oppose the settlements because I think they are an obstacle to peace.

  14. Prior to the "settlements." there was no peace. Don't drink their kool aid. The lack of peace goes far beyond and far before any settlements.

  15. Yup. The problem is not this or that Jewish village, but Arab racism.

    That's the real unspoken truth about the conflict.

  16. Their fear in speaking that unspoken truth eludes me. What is it? Oil? Fear? What?

  17. Oy.

    Building and expanding settlements is not the same thing the presence of Jews.

    And I agree with Doodad, there was no peace before the settlements. But before the settlements Israel was at war with Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, not the Palestinians. Those wars are effectively over with. But the conflict with the Palestinians remains. And the settlements are an obstacle to ending that conflict.

    I know Karma too issues with the source of Heathlander's diary about the settlement offer land swap deals. I get that. I'll believe the details of an offer when a deal is done. Otherwise, I don't assume either side is telling the whole truth in the description of any offer. But I think it does point out the problems with the settlements. The more Israelis in the settlements, the more likely that Israel is going to ask that the land those settlements sit on, be included in any future peace agreement. That settlement creep was an obvious problem the first time I saw settlement plans in 1974.

    At this point, I don't care about what's right or wrong or fair. Israel's survival depends on peace. For those that say it's impossible, fine. I don't think so. So for me, removing obstacles, whether they're logical obstacles or not, is much more important than being fair or reasonable or right.

  18. Pragmatism is a wonderfully western concept. I don't believe it is shared by the Arabs. I base that on the historical record.

    I wish it were not that way; then we would have peace.

    Settlement creep is interesting. It happens because of nature. People have children. There is also immigration. There is also security. If pragmatism had been used by the Palestinians, those borders could have been locked before any of that happened to any real extent.

    I see pragmatism as a one way street here. When tried it failed; thus a terrorist Gaza.

    But like I say, it would be great and I would support that thinking if it was thinking used by both sides.

    Some new paradigm is needed after all these years. Nothing has worked so far; change the paradigm. If it were up to me I would declare the Israeli borders and then leave the rest up to the lawyers. Of course International lawyers and the UN are biased so there goes that fine plan.