We argue about it don't we? Some of us here knew it; elsewhere, they argue that it isn't so. Well here's the proof of where the Democratic party is headed. Perhaps it's this which gave wings to the recent three stooges orgy of Panetta, Hilary and Gutman.
"Two of the Democratic Party’s core institutions are challenging a bipartisan consensus on Israel and Palestine that has dominated American foreign policy for more than a decade.
The Center for American Progress, the party’s key hub of ideas and strategy, and Media Matters, a central messaging organization, have emerged as vocal critics of their party’s staunchly pro-Israel congressional leadership and have been at odds, at times, with Barack Obama’s White House, which has acted as a reluctant ally to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government.
The differences are ones of tone – but also of bright lines of principle – and while they have haven’t yet made any visible impact on Democratic policy, they’ve shaken up the Washington foreign policy conversation and broadened the space for discussing a heretical and often critical stance on Israel heretofore confined to the political margins.
The daily battle is waged in Media Matters’ emails, on CAP’s blogs, Middle East Progress and ThinkProgress and most of all on Twitter, where a Media Mattters official, MJ Rosenberg, regularly heaps vitriol on those who disagree as “Iraq war neocon liar” (the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg) or having “dual loyalties” to the U.S. and Israel (the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin). And while the Center for American Progress tends to walk a more careful line, warm words for Israel can be hard to find on its blogs......
“Like segregation in the American South, the siege of Gaza (and the entire Israeli occupation, for that matter) is a moral abomination that should be intolerable to anyone claiming progressive values,” wrote Matt Duss, a CAP policy analyst and the director of Middle East Progress, last year, after an Israeli raid on a flotilla challenging the blockade of Gaza turned violent.
The two groups’ push is part of a larger revival of the liberal American Israel lobby, though one that has yet to make a policy impact. Stalwarts of the anti-settlement movement like Peace Now have new, more politically engaged counterparts like J Street and see their views reflected increasingly in the party’s central institutions. They represent – they hope – the Democratic Party’s future, if not its present, and have taken heart from recent criticism of Israel by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton....
“There’s two explanations here – either the inmates are running the asylum or the Center for American Progress has made a decision to be anti-Israel,” said Josh Block, a former spokesman for AIPAC who is now a fellow at the center-left Progressive Policy Institute. “Either they can allow people to say borderline anti-Semitic stuff” – a reference to what he described as conspiracy theorizing in the Alterman column – “and to say things that are antithetical to the fundamental values of the Democratic party, or they can fire them and stop it.” (Alterman called the charge "ludicrous" and "character assassination," noted that he is a columnist for Jewish publications, and described himself as a "proud, pro-Zionist Jew.")...
The participants in the endless, bitter Israel policy arguments all demand a variety of labels: pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-American. Everyone argues that his case is win-win. But the new tone in Washington is also one that straightforwardly pro-Palestinian voices see as a welcome change, if one that has yet to be accompanied by a shift in American policy.
“What is actually happening is that the discourse that lot of people in the Palestine solidarity community and activists have been engaging in is starting to break down the walls of the Washington bubble,” said Ali Abunimah, a longtime activist and the co-founder of the site Electronic Intifada. “But political intimidation from Israel’s supporters is still a much more powerful force than any change in thinking at the CAP.”