I do not believe that the left is more tolerant of antisemitism than the right. Yes, there is an element of the "left," and I use that term here because of how the people self-identify, that engage in it and tolerate it in the name of what they consider "The Cause." However, that is not representative of the left as a whole, nor should it be presented that way. There are elements on both the self-identified left and the self-identified right that engage in antisemitism or tolerate or look the other way when it arises because it suits their political interests to do so. I am simply criticizing your broad brush against the entirety of the left and your continual glossing over or ignoring it when it occurs on the right.
If you criticized both the marginal elements of the left AND the right for their tolerance of antisemitism, then my criticisms, if existent, would be considerably different. However, you do not criticize the right, and while not considering yourself a member of it, do them a service through that. You consider yourself an independent with no allegiance to left or right, then act as one. Call out the antisemitism wherever and whenever it occurs, instead of simply focusing on the left.
November 7, 2011 1:00 PM
I want to thank Reuven for his ongoing and fair-minded criticisms, because those criticisms are helpful to me as I build and modify my argument.
I agree, as I have often said, that anti-Semitism "is not representative of the left as a whole." That has been my position all the way through. The problem with the left is not that it is anti-Semitic, but that it turns a blind eye. A perfect example is in the nice lady from My Left Wing (not the thoughtful owner of that blog) who doesn't mind participating on another blog wherein the Star of David is kicked around, and torn, on the front page. I found that detestable, but she did not because, as a typical progressive, she did not mind even blatant expressions of anti-Semitism.
This is not because she, herself, is anti-Semitic, but merely that she does not care one way or the other.
There are elements on both the self-identified left and the self-identified right that engage in antisemitism or tolerate or look the other way...
Sure, but the difference is that the American right-wing has not legitimized anti-Semitism by bringing an anti-Semitic political movement under their umbrella. The right has random bigots of every way, shape, and form, as do we, but they have marginalized their anti-Semites. The American left, and I am left by any measure on the actual issues, has institutionalized its bigotry by accepting the anti-Semitic BDS movement... the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction... the Jews of the Middle East.
The right has anti-Semitism, but the left promotes anti-Semitism by giving anti-Semitic anti-Zionism and the BDS movement venues and a voice.
That's the difference, Reuven.
And, believe me, I do not like it any better than you do, but we have to face the political environment as it is now, not how it was twenty years ago.
The right has bigots, but the left has institutionalized their anti-Semitism.
It is for this reason that I recommend that American Jews boycott the progressive-left, while making our displeasure known to the Democratic Party by giving them a vacation, at least for this cycle.
Finally, if I focus on the left, it is because I come from the left.
From the American right I expect nothing.
This is me from just a few years ago:
I must have marched at least a dozen times against those wars.
Nonetheless, I know that the right is far friendlier to Israel than is the American left.
Sad, but true.
And the European left? Fuggedaboutit.
We have been betrayed... for reasons that we can discuss.