Friday, December 16, 2011

Jewish Progressives and Kos (Updated)


I feel bad for Jewish progressives. It cannot be easy being part of a political movement that has absolutely no interest in the well-being of one's own people. That's the situation for liberal Jews who engage in the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party or who participate on progressive-left blogs like Daily Kos or the Huffington Post. Most of the people who run those blogs and who participate on them are not, by any means, racist against Jews. In fact, as I have insisted upon repeatedly, the progressive-left, as a group, as a political movement, is not anti-Semitic. It isn't.

The problem with the progressive-left, and thus the problem for progressive Jews, is that the great majority of progressives or liberals do not really understand anti-Semitism and they could hardly care less. That's the problem. They don't get it and they don't care. And it is for this reason that anti-Semitism tends to flourish in progressive venues. Furthermore, because they don't get it, and generally don't care, the tendency is to circle the wagons when anti-Semitism does come to the fore.

This is one of the major reasons why I, myself, have opted out of the progressive movement and the Democratic party. Instead of dealing with anti-Semitism when it arises the tendency among progressives is to make excuses for it or deny that it is there or simply blame conservatives or Republicans for making much ado about nothing. This is precisely what we saw during the recent Occupy Wall Street nonsense. A few people in the movement were caught on tape screeching about the Jews and when confronted with that material progressives tended to downplay the problem or deny that there is a problem and then blame the messenger rather than honestly dealing with the message.

The result of the entire dynamic, which I have seen time and time again, is that Jewish liberals find themselves the object of disdain among non-Jewish liberals for daring to raise the specter of progressive-left anti-Semitism. Again, it is not that most progressives are anti-Semitic. They aren't. It's that they don't get it, they don't care, and they very much want you to shut the fuck up.

That's the problem and that is why Markos Moulitsos, the owner of Daily Kos, has run into a little issue with the Daily Kos pro-Israel Jewish contingent. One of the pro-Israel Jews on Daily Kos, fizziks, referenced a story about rape in Norway among Muslim immigrants and how, apparently, at least one Norwegian official either somehow blamed it on Israel or suggested that Israelis are getting a hardy laugh out of Norway's increasing problem with Muslim immigrant rape of blondie women.

Personally, I suspect that the story is largely hogwash and I do not particularly blame Kos for saying so. In response Kos has yanked ratings privileges from a number of (mainly Jewish) Kossacks who had "uprated" fizziks and is threatening fizziks with a possible banning. None of this would be particularly interesting except for the fact, as is pointed out in the comments beneath Kos's remark, that he lets much worse commentary stand without so much as a peep. Kos, of course, cannot be expected to read everything on that site because it is far too big, but there is no question that one of the major themes within Daily Kos I-P is the anti-Semitic notion that Jews or Zionists or Israelis secretly run the US government via the nefarious offices of AIPAC.

This kind of thing is directly out of the Protocols and is precisely what the Nazis thought about German Jews directly before they slaughtered them.

And this is why the Jews on Daily Kos are getting more and more pissed-off and alienated. They recognize the hypocrisy. They speak out against it and all they get for their troubles is the back of the hand.

So, is Markos an anti-Semite?

The answer to that question is "no." There is nothing in the record to suggest that Markos Moulitsos is in any way an anti-Semite. The problem with Markos is the problem with the progressive-left more generally. They don't get it and they don't care. What they want is for Jewish people who do object to anti-Semitism to shut the fuck up.

Believe me, if you shut the fuck up you will not have a problem.

However, if you insist upon calling out anti-Semitism when it arises you will be viewed as nothing so much as a trouble-maker and a sincere pain in the ass.

Good luck with that, guys.

Speaking for myself, it's really no longer my problem because the progressive-left is no longer my movement... and thank G-d for that.

{Gee, I wonder what it feels like to actually vote for a Republican? I've never had that experience before. As I recently said to a friend, political sands are shifting and old assumptions no longer hold true.}

Time to move on.


fizziks banned from Daily Kos.

And yet another liberal Jew bites the dust on a liberal website.

They're just knocking us off like flies.



  1. They say Daphne Anson is an Islamaphobe, but all she is doing is pointing out instances of hatred directed at Jews.

    I think she is more liberal than many of those who shout about Islamophobia.

  2. I've only recently become aware of that site.

    That site, like this one and like yours, is just one of any number of pro-Israel sites that progressives would tend to lambaste as racist and right-wing.

    Why is it, I wonder, that almost all the pro-Israel sites are either conservative or viewed that way?

    Aside from VB's "The Progressive Zionist" I know of very few pro-Israel political blogs that are explicitly liberal or progressive.

    How is that?

    Have anti-Zionists done such a good job of muddying the waters that to be pro-Israel is to be, ipso facto, a "conservative"?

  3. My site is a liberal one. The matter, however, is that labels are what matters these days, and people must maintain their cred. I believe that many who call themselves progressive are empty and what sustains them is the disparagement of anything that does not meet their approval. It is just as Orwell described.

  4. Wow, fizziks is saying goodbye to dKos and he is shooting from the hip. Have a look.

    Good on ya, man.

  5. "Believe me, if you shut the fuck up you will not have a problem."

    Of course, if we completely shut up and never confronted them then we'd have problems in other ways...

    But ah forget it, we tried there.  I sure did.  The best thing to do is realize the fact that that particular site is ultimately inconsequential, and as fas as most of the people who run it are concerned, they will certainly burn it down on their own eventually anyway.  Sooner rather than later.  Particularly their childish and petulant proprietor, who has somehow even managed to be banned from a television network.  If the bigots who run wild and free there don't bring that place down first, that is.  Jews aren't the only community who've voiced serious concerns about the rampant hate speech and dog whistles there.

    Until then, I will continue contacting my elected representatives any and every time they show up there, and will be informing them in no uncertain terms why they should not post at that hate-friendly site.

  6. Great comment.  The anti-Israel folk there, and others, seem to think they are way more important than they are.

  7. Personally I think everyone should just abandon the swamp to the hateful antisemites so that the world can see just how disgraceful a place it has become.

  8. The place has evolved into a parody of a perverted Gong Show with kos playing Chuck Barris.

  9. I think the labeling of people as racists and Islamophobes, in effect supporting defamation of religion over the human right of expression is equally grave. It is done to hide themselves and the fraud they are perpetrating as proponents of human rights.

  10. I'm not sure that I get you entirely, school... "supporting defamation of religion over the human right of expression is equally grave"?... but there is no doubt in my mind that they are a fraud when it comes to human rights.

    This is a huge sticking point and by "they," of course, I mean pro-Palestinian advocates who claim to be proponents of human rights, but who only care about the human rights of people living in Ramallah or Gaza, but never Darfur, never Tibet, never China or North Korea.

    But what is even worse, to my view, is the failure to recognize that Jews in the Middle East just came through 1,300 years of dhimmitude followed by 100 years of terror war and it is those very same Jews who are vilified as the oppressors.

    Arab anti-Israel propaganda over the last 60 years has done an amazing job of transplanting itself into the gullible mind of the western idealist.

    No doubt.

  11. I think that when one speaks of the Liberty, the prejudice is evident.

    I see all this as not just a problem for Jews and Israel, I suppose, but in a larger, international context, where the proponents of human rights for Muslims over others is winning.

    This translates into domestic policies that filter through society. The change comes from within from a society where people can speak and one where they cannot without risk of state action.

    That is how we get police states, like the OIC states. That is their intention, as they cannot impose their imperialistic designs from without.

    Calling someone an Islamophobe to chill expression pursues the same agenda, and if this one sided mind set is allowed to prevail, with impunity, then the unknowing are at increasing risk to become subjugated.

    In this battle, Jews are on the front line, but cannot win the fight alone. It requires instilling a mind set that is willing to stand up for Western and liberal values that are under attack.

    Don't know if this helps or makes it more confused.

    The Chesler interview with Warraq says it way better than me. I see the decade long battle over defamation of religion, not something people think about much, as the front line, which is why I raise it so often.