In a recent comment to a so-called "progressive Zionist," I said the following:
You are telling us, essentially, that
1) the rise of radical Islam throughout the Middle East represents the flowering of democracy... and who are we to quibble merely because that political movement is motivated by genocidal anti-Semitism.
And 2) Jews need to trust in Barack Obama, rather than in Israel, for the protection of the Jewish state.
It's foolishness, VB.
It's as if the twentieth century never happened.
I draw these conclusions because progressives, in general, and "progressive Zionists," in particular, virtually never discuss the rise of the radical Islam throughout the Middle East and often claim that supporting the so-called "Arab Spring" is to support the "flowering of democracy" in that part of the world.
The level of ideological blinkeredness that it takes to describe the emergence of radical Islam as a good thing is beyond comprehension. They honestly believe that merely because Arabs voted for theocratic fascist parties throughout the region that we are thus obligated to turn a blind eye or even to applaud.
Furthermore, "progressive Zionists" seem to want to hand over Israeli security concerns, viz-a-viz Iran, to Barack Obama rather than to Israel, itself. This is not surprising given the fact that organizations such as J Street want Americans to decide Israeli behavior, rather than Israelis, themselves.
In this way, so-called "progressive Zionists" have lost touch with the lessons of World War II and of the rise of fascism in Europe. They think that the rise of Islamist fascism in the Middle East is a good thing because they think of it, foolishly enough, as the rise of democracy there. They do so because they have elected to remain willfully ignorant about just what radical Islam is. And there are reasons for this, as well.
For my part, I will trust Israelis, not Americans and not Barack Obama, to decide for themselves how to deal with Iran. In the mean time, the very last people on the planet that we should listen to in regards Jewish security in the Middle East are people who are incapable of distinguishing friends from enemies or who fail to understand that the rise of radical Islam throughout the region is not the emergence of democracy there, but the emergence of a type of fascism there.
Furthermore, Barack Obama quite literally helped usher this fascist movement into power through calling for the ouster of Mubarak in Egypt, thereby paving the way for the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that Obama met with in secret during the spring of 2009.
Yossi Klein Halevi writes in The New Republic:
Israeli leaders believe that their window of opportunity in launching a preemptive strike will be closing in the coming months. America, though, with its vastly superior firepower, could retain a military option even after Israel’s lapses. In other words: An Israeli decision not to strike this year will mean that it effectively ceded its self-defense—against a potentially existential threat—to America. When Obama tells Israel to give sanctions time, what he is really saying is: Trust me to stop Iran militarily when you no longer can.
By deferring to Barack Obama, rather than to the Israelis, this is precisely what "progressive Zionists" are asking us to accept.
The whole point of Zionism is to insure that Jews will no longer live or die according to the whims, or considerations, of others. If I am correct that "progressive Zionists" tend to want Israel to defer to Obama then they are, in fact, undermining one of the central meanings of what Zionism is, i.e., Jewish agency on the question of Jewish security.
Amos Yadlin in the New York Times:
Asking Israel’s leaders to abide by America’s timetable, and hence allowing Israel’s window of opportunity to be closed, is to make Washington a de facto proxy for Israel’s security — a tremendous leap of faith for Israelis faced with a looming Iranian bomb.
Are "progressive Zionists" asking the Jewish state to defer Jewish security to Barack Obama?
So it seems.