You know, every day I ask myself what it is that I want to say and do I have the time to say it?
Sometimes, thankfully, other people provide content. Sometimes they do so intentionally and sometimes I merely steal it.
This is one of those times!
My friend Alexi over at the Elder's joint wrote a comment last week that I have been meaning to get back to, but have simply failed to do so because of other obligations. Upon re-reading the comment this morning I realize that it is the kind of thing that I like to discuss and that is worthy of front page reading at Israel Thrives.
It is about Green's thesis on Cognitive Warfare (pdf):
In order for the Jewish Left to "snap out of it" the are going to have to have a stake in feeling a PART of the Jewish People. They are going to have to understand that the Arabs are "playing them". That they have have permitted themselves to be conned. That will not be possible by calling them names.The situation with diaspora left Jews is touchy. Alexi and I both come out of the left and thereby understand the difficulties that progressive-left Jews suffer within that political movement. The truth, of course, is that Alexi is correct. The Jewish left is being played. They are in a position in which if they dare to stand up for the Jewish minority in the Middle East they are immediately condemned as racists, if not fascists, by the very people that they count as their political allies.
As in any good con, the mark always comes back asking for MORE. The reward here, is the emotional pat on the back for "doing the right thing". standing up for Justice at self sacrifice... the moral high ground.
We have a BIG problem on our hands.
The only way I see change happening any time soon will be if something bigger galvanizes self reflection on the part of the mark (ALL Progressives, Jewish and Non-Jews alike):
With so much emotionally invested I believe it will take a number of OUTRIGHT atrocities by the Arabs against Israel for them to be willing to consider it. Admitting to oneself that you've been played, used and screwed, in the name or "righteousness" itself does not lend to instantaneous self recognition minus an outright atrocity (something that humanitarians will have NO WAY to forgive, OR excuse). Even that is likely to fail.
This is a battle with many fronts. Each Pro-Zionist group MUST focus
on fighting FOR Israel and Jewish Self Determination. As opposed to fighting against the "other". Name calling and the "blame game" are ineffective, or backfire by creating enemies of those with good intent but who's point of view has been colored by propaganda.
This takes the type of sane argumentation you've put forth in disagreement with folks like fizziks; and not the type of "All Liberals s*ck" or all "Right wingers are Crazy" meme we see in the media (both sides) which makes it's livelihood as a parasitic member of our very social fabric.
Neither Bush nor Obama are responsible for Jihad. One was a F-UP and
one is a Scr*w-Up.
It's time everybody focused on the REAL enemies.
The Jihadis, anti-Semites, and the parasitic propagandizing media - the enemies of the truth.
"They honestly think that it is somehow moral to deny the rights of Jews
to live, and thus build housing for ourselves, in Judea."
Actually, the problem is that they don't see it that way. They see poor Arabs who don't have a country suffering under the imperialist boot. They're WRONG.
We have failed to make it clear. We have failed to make our case. I believe one of the reasons is because we are now making enemies of each-other.
United we stand, Divided we fall. This is the BIG problem in our current theatre of Cognitive Warfare; we deal with ourselves and each-other.
This is, of course, not true on the leadership level of, say, the Democratic party, but it is definitely true on the progressive-left and within the grassroots / netroots of the party.
As for name-calling, one of the issues that I have been meaning to discuss, but simply have not gotten around to, yet, is the fact that when we discuss the progressive-left it is not a matter of name-calling.
Over the course of the last few years my friends and I have developed a number of specific criticisms of the political movement that we mainly come out of. I give credit to those who participate here because I could not have developed these criticisms without their input and thoughtful conclusions.
In contrast what I tend to find is that our critics simply smear us as "right-wingers" to be dismissed.
That is not a form of criticism. It is a form of defamation.
What I claim is that progressive-left Jews have a tendency to ignore the rise of political Islam, encourage hatred toward Jews who live where Obama and Abbas do not want them to live, are forever playing defense against anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, lean toward the moral equivalency canard, ignore Jewish history, and mistake friends for enemies.
Those are criticisms. They may be right or they may be wrong. They may be largely correct or largely mistaken. But they are criticisms.
What they are not is defamation.
When diaspora left Jews discuss the conservative right, it is far too often done with a tone of contempt and with a failure to actually engage right-wing criticism and thought. The very notion of right-wing "criticism" and "thought" is anathema to most progressive-left Jews... including me, until recently.
When we are called "right-winger" it is not to actually criticize any of our views, but to encourage others - particularly other Jews - to simply dismiss our views out of hand.
And that, my friends, is all the difference in the world. We are not saying, do not listen to the left. We are saying these are progressive-left Jewish inclinations and here are our criticisms of those inclinations.
What they say is, Shut the Hell Up.