Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reuven Has Some Words

Reuven said...

Both the far-left and the far-right have their anti-Semites and those willing to overlook that anti-Semitism for political expediency or general agreement. As a whole, though, the left does not tolerate anti-Semitism. There is a small group that makes themselves seem considerably larger than they really are because they are loud, but by no means are they anything more than an extremely small segment of the left. This element, and their enablers, do exist at Daily Kos, and it is an ongoing problem for the site. However, it is not representative of the left as a whole, and thus it is wrong to tar the left with this.

October 31, 2011 8:08 PM

I find it rather unfortunate that I am constantly called upon to repeat my basic argument.

The argument is not, I repeat, it is NOT that the progressive-left has racists, including anti-Semites. Of course the left has racists, including anti-Semites. The argument is that the progressive-left not only tolerates its anti-Semites, it has even made a home for them within progressive-left venues in the form of the anti-Semitic anti-Zionist movement that goes by the name of BDS.

The left, unlike the right, has institutionally incorporated its racists into its larger constituency and punishes Jews who object, although those very Jews are only now beginning to awaken to the progressive-left betrayal of the Jewish community. Reuven is thus entirely mistaken when he writes, "As a whole, though, the left does not tolerate anti-Semitism."

This is simply false.

The left not only tolerates anti-Semitism, it considers anti-Semitic anti-Zionism to be a legitimate form of discourse that has a place at the progressive-left table. The right-wing, at least in the United States, has marginalized its anti-Semites and has been doing so more or less since Bill Buckley stood up on this issue in the 1950s and 1960s.

Furthermore, the anti-Semitic anti-Zionist presence on the left is not limited to Daily Kos, but is found throughout the progressive-left wherever they come together. Whether it is in academic unions in Great Britain calling for the exclusion of "zionists" or political blogs in the United States discussing why Israel should never have come into being despite the Holocaust, anti-Semitic anti-Zionism has a respected presence among people who like to tell themselves that they are anti-racists.

The truth is that there is considerably more racism among left-wing "anti-racists" than there is among conservative right-wingers who are largely shedding their traditional racism. As the right sheds race hatred, the left is now cultivating it. Left-wing anti-Semitism, of course, is not nearly so pervasive as is left-wing condescension and bigotry toward Muslims. The left's general opinion of Arabs and Muslims, who they claim to support, is so low that they honestly think that all it takes for those Arabs and Muslims to start rioting is for Ariel Sharon to take a walk on the Temple Mount.

One would have to think that Arabs, particularly Palestinians, are absolute savages to think that a mere stroll on the Temple Mount is enough to set them off on a violent, years long rampage that meant the equivalent of a 9/11 every two weeks in Israel for three years. That's what the second intifada was for Israelis. In terms of the numbers dead by population level, Israel went through something more or less equivalent to a 9/11 every two weeks for three years after Arafat killed the Oslo Accords.

But progressives almost always blame the start of the second intifada on Sharon's stroll. This is pure racism against Arabs. Progressive-left anti-Semitism is not nearly so pervasive as is progressive-left bigotry toward Arabs and Muslims who they condescend to as children, violent children, true, but children, nonetheless.  The problem with progressive-left anti-Semitism, however, is not that it is rife, as is progressive-left racism towards Arabs, but that they have institutionally welcomed that anti-Semitism into their movement.

This is what people like my friend Reuven cannot seem to face.

I understand why. As a liberal Jew, which I always was, it is exceedingly difficult to face the fact that we have been betrayed by the very political movement that we helped build. Facing that fact can have all sorts of personal consequences on various levels. It's a little scary, in truth.

But the good thing is that once one allows oneself to see the truth, and thereby to free oneself from political partisanship, than the mob no longer wields a veto on the direction of thought.

And that is a very good thing, indeed.


  1. And right on cue, as if they were reading your mind and waiting for the chance to provide you ammo, along come the usual suspects at dKos dissing Goldstone's recent rejection of their absolute favorite antisemtic meme....Apartheid Israel.


    Well respected Kossack Heathlander, posts a piece from The New Left Project (note the LEFT in that name...not right, but LEFT.) In it he bows to leftist icon Norman Finkelstein and suggests that Goldstone does not really believe any of this but it's due to "The degeneration of Judge Richard Goldstone ." In the comments they speculate:

    it's hard not to believe that this vitriolic verbal abuse he received, which received numerous death threats, did a number on him.

    Oh to be fly on the wall of his brain.

    by david mizner on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:04:21 AM PDT

    Heathlander replies:

    Like I said in my piece (1+ / 0-)
    analysing his previous op-ed,

    There is so much wrong with the diary I could go on forever but to save time let me just say that those who TRY and reply to the diarist are repelled by the magic shield of invulnerability Markos gave them with his new "rules." You know, the ones everyone of the ususal suspects trot out every time someone criticizes them one iota.

    So in summary respected Kossacks and leftists want to retain the antisemitic trope of Israel apartheid and they will trash their former hero Goldstone to do it while hiding behind walls built into the biggest progressive blog around dKos. How progressive!

  2. To many damn labels. I do not think that the activists are as strong as you do, and that the more they are confronted about their illiberal tendencies and support for abusers, the more they will become marginalized.

    The problems for Israel run deep. These activists are inept and their hate overflows. I am more concerned about what is coming from the universities, like the recent Pino episode shows. This is the front line in my estimation, to make sure that all narratives have air.

  3. School,

    it's got to be tough being Jewish kid who cares about Israel on the campuses these days. No question about it.

    BUT, we cannot draw a clear and final distinction between the academics and the activists because they're often the very same people.

    The main thing that we need to recognize, tho, is that the movement has betrayed the Jewish people.

    There's just no two ways about it.

  4. Well yeah. A movement is defined by its "academics," and "intellectuals." Progressive Heathlander who prides himself to be a smart fellow because he provides links, points to failed antisemite Norman Finkelstein as someone to take seriously.

    In that article alone they call on the moral authority of such Jew haters as Bishop Tutu (the arrogance of power because Jews are a powerful lobby in this land and all kinds of people woo their support.” Jimmy Carter (“If I get back in, I’m going to [expletive] the Jews.”) etc. Do I see the narrative of such guys as these two ever revealed? Not on your life. They will be lefty heroes forever and partly because they hate Israel.

  5. In any event, when the climate in academia becomes more tolerant of expression, then we may not see so many "smart" people that can spin out theories and information galore, but have no grip on reality in the safe echo chambers of their cloisters.

    They are clearly afraid of open and honest discussion, and use the tactics of abusers. True discourse shows the disconnect and emptiness of their positions. And reveals their conceit.

    Still, I think the rabid activists are not the majority. I would rather persuade the open minded that first must understand how they are misled by one sided autocrats.

    That will NOT occur at DKos, which is fine. I prefer to see the hot air there, rather than used more effectively.

    This is a slog. The tide will turn once the Arab winter fully sets in and those who blindly lauded are repudiated. It will take many years, and much pain, but I see that in the future.

  6. I hope you are right Oldschool. I am more pessimistic based on the historical record. After all we are in the 21st century and all this still happens. Communism has failed miserably yet its adherents still arise. etc

  7. Yes. And one day the beast will turn on them because they, too, are non-believers in the conflict that is going on.

  8. "non-believers in the conflict"


    Do you mean non-believers in the Radical Jihad?

    It's funny about that. I was never one to scream my bloody head off about the Jihad, but there are millions of Muslims who do, in fact, favor the Sharia... by any means necessary.

    That is simply a fact, yet another fact that the progressive-left simply refuses to face.

    We don't have to go all Robert Spencer, but we can at least acknowledge that Islamism is a real thing and a real problem.

    Just ask Daniel Pearl.

  9. I totally agree. These matters, at least, would seem to have a place at the table and not be locked from the room.

    That a Leftist activist will not acknowledge the Nazi affiliation of the Mufti, for instance, or that Islamic activists call for death not only to Israel, but to themselves.

    Not to mention the behavior of those they align to. Anyone who cares for women and children should be ashamed at how easily the anti-Israel are diverted from suffering elsewhere that exponentially exceeds the oft self-inflicted Palestinian version, as if nothing else mattered in the whole world other than the latter.

    Not that I am any authority myself, but ANYONE who could think like that, as if there is only one cause to such a complex problem, does not seem smart to me, or worthy of listening to for that matter.

    I suppose that is what occurs after several generations learn one side of a story that has several others, deprived of an opportunity to understand the issues fully. When given that opportunity, the anti-Israel side is exposed.

    I think that rather than demean them, and be like them, I prefer to expose them for an open minded audience.

  10. Here's some info on an Israeli "academic."

    "Israeli Academics in the News – Part I
    We have reported regularly on the antics and shenanigans of Tel
    Aviv University's Anat Matar, one of the worst tenured extremists at
    Tel Aviv University. She is violent and has been arrested for her
    violence. She despises Israel and wants it destroyed. She is a
    tenured faculty member in philosophy.

    Well, Sister Matar is back in the news these days as a cheerleader
    and open endorser of terrorist murders of Israelis. She is one of the
    Israeli airhead leftists who held a celebration of the freeing of the
    1000 plus terrorists in the "prisoner exchange deal" that purchased
    the liberation of Gilad Shalit. But she was not celebrating because
    Shalit was being freed, but rather because murderers of Jews were
    being set free.

    One of those released from Israeli prison was convicted terrorist
    Muchlas Burjal. He had thrown a grenade at a bus with Jews inside,
    except the grenade did not go off. Anat Matar has proclaimed him a
    hero and participated in the welcoming celebrations when he returned
    home. She organized a group of Israeli leftists to greet the
    terrorist at his home, bedecked in PLO flags, joined by Arab fascist
    members of the Israeli parliament.

    Cited in Makor Rishon October 28, 2011, Matar says that Burjal is
    a hero because he threw the grenade at a bus carrying Israeli soldiers
    and not civilians, and such an attack is a legitimate form of
    resistance. Oh, and not to worry, Matar's own son was not inside the
    bus because he served time in prison for refusing to do army service
    altogether. Matar is now lobbying for the release of another
    convicted terrorist, one Walid Daka, who murdered Israeli soldier
    Moshe Tamam. Matar insists that Daka is actually innocent because he
    says he is. The court that convicted him disagrees. In an interview
    with Makor Rishon, Matar expressed support for terrorist violence by
    Palestinian against Israelis as resistance to "occupation."

    Curiously, some of the other Israeli ultra-leftist academic
    extremists are denouncing Sister Anat. For example, Alon Harel, a
    radical professor of law at the Hebrew University, criticized her for
    her celebrations of terrorism.

    Are you concerned that a tenured member of the faculty at Tel Aviv
    University is working as a promoter of murdering Jews and as an
    enabler of terrorist atrocities? Why not tell the heads of TAU what
    you think?:"


  11. Yep. Activists are invariably extreme and often have too much influence. That is why reaching agreements can be so hard.

    I have no objection to her tenure. I hope she gets publicized among the public for her laudable efforts.

    At least in Israel there is a counterbalance, unlike in Europe and the USA.