Thursday, May 21, 2015

Profound Differences

Michael L.

flagMost American political analysts concerned with the Middle East would probably say that I am a right-winger.

How I suddenly became a right-winger is a mystery to me, particularly given the fact that most American political analysts concerned with domestic politics would consider me a man of the left.

It has something to do with the fact that I objected - strongly and in public - to left-leaning support for anti-Semitic anti-Zionism within venues allied with the Democratic Party.

Volleyboy1 is someone that I have known for years.

He is an intelligent guy and I respect him, although we have significant criticisms of one another.

It is not everyone who would have the courage to come onto what he must consider hostile territory and speak the truth as he understands it.

This is VB's initial criticism:
How can one call themselves a Liberal and yet actively support (through voting and advocacy) "Conservative" political forces that enforce entirely non liberal solutions to issues when they make policy. Not only that, but that those forces that are not Liberal are not ever criticized or mentioned when often times they engage in similar behaviors. 
This is his follow-up:
One of my biggest criticisms for instance of the Useful Idiot, is that he calls himself "Pro-Israel" yet all he does is criticize Israel and engage with anti-Semites. YET how can one be "Pro-Israel" when one does not contextualize and balance criticism or point out what the other side is doing. In David Harris Gershon's case, all he does is provide fodder for anti--Semites and anti-Zionists.
I like this criticism because it is honest and straight-forward.

It is a fair question.

How can one consider oneself liberal, in the contemporary American sense of that word, while abandoning liberal political venues and actually voting for a Republican?  That is an entirely fair question and I did, in fact, vote for Mitt Romney in the last American presidential election.

Romney is the one and only Republican that I have voted for in the past, but he may not very well be the last.  I am considering voting for other Republicans, but they have not yet made the sale.

In order to answer VB's question we need to separate American domestic policy from its foreign policy.  The world is getting smaller and smaller and I therefore, now, take foreign policy to be at least as important as domestic policy.

In truth, I am far more concerned about Obama allowing a Iranian bomb than I am about the possibility that Evangelicals will take over the American government and overturn Roe v. Wade.  That is, I am far more concerned about American foreign policy, at this moment in time, than I am about American domestic policy.

The Islamic State recently captured Ramadi, Iraq, about 75 miles outside of Baghdad.

The Jewish people in the Middle East remain a tough-minded and self-defended minority in that part of the world, but they remain a people under siege from Arabs within their own borders, Arabs and Muslims from without, and European alleged "liberals" who turn a blind eye to ISIS while continually castigating Israel.

Given the pressure that our Israeli friends and relatives are under, I think that it is imperative that we stand with our friends.

108 comments:

  1. Well said Mike... I think this interesting. I appreciate that you are breaking this down by foreign and domestic policy and there is a lot to discuss here. Give me a bit to "chew on it" and I will begin addressing this. Of course this leads me to other questions, but, I know we will get there.

    Again, I think this is a reasonable post and while I may disagree with some of it, I respect it. Just wanted you to know that.

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    1. Take your time, VB.

      This thread, beneath this comment, is between you and me.

      I know that your will is good.

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  2. There is conflation and misconception that progressives are liberal, but in many instances they simply are not.

    There is conflation and misconception that progressives care more, but in many instances they simply care more about themselves and their skewed view of the nation and the world.

    Not to mention the hatred they reserve for those that dare to speak out against the illiberalism that they want as the norm.

    One may not agree with the fundamentalists, but they will not kill you, even if you put Christ in piss, and they will step up to help others while many progressives, often privileged and insulated, will do nothing besides ridicule and scream about injustice and how Mike Brown was an innocent victim, and how evangelicals, the West, and Israel are evil.

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    1. Many people increasingly see through progressive claims of virtuous superiority that justifies the illiberality of its actions.

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  3. Ok... Let me start with the last point first:

    The Jewish people in the Middle East remain a tough-minded and self-defended minority in the Middle East, but they remain a people under siege from Arabs within their own borders, Arabs and Muslims from without, and European alleged "liberals" who turn a blind eye to ISIS while continually castigating Israel.

    I agree with 98% of this. This is a very important piece of contextual information. Israel is under siege though I wouldn't necessarily blanket European Liberal criticism in the context of them turning a "blind eye" towards the Islamic State. Why do I say that? Because even European "Liberals" are dealing with the Jihadi's returning home and potentially causing trouble and are working with their governments to restrict the flow from their countries into the Middle East.

    That said, certainly the European nations do continually castigate Israel, like the vote in the U.N. yesterday (104-4) that declared Israel was the worst violator of Health Care in the world, and the Euro's supported that. I cannot even describe how disgusting that is. But the Saudi's wanted this... So......

    BTW, Canda, the U.S. and Australia all voted against this ridiculous motion. Here are details: http://www.bnaibrith.org/press-releases/bnai-brith-condemns-latest-absurd-attack-on-israel-this-time-by-who

    BUT... all that said, and I ask this with absolutely no malice whatsoever. Please understand that. I ask because I have been asked this even by my wife, though I gave her what I think will be a very different answer than I anticipate from you.

    If you believe that Israel is more important than U.S. domestic policy (policies that affect your fellow U.S. Citizens) and is so important that it trumps your social values when you vote, then I must ask.. why don't you live in Israel?

    Please understand, I am not questioning your right to do that. You have that right, I am simply wondering.

    Let me clarify one thing though... If this is about general U.S. foreign policy and related to more than just Israel than my question is sort of moot... BUT if it is primarily about Israel, I believe it stands.

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    1. Oh and Mike... I too am concerned about an Iranian Bomb and U.S. loss of prestige overseas. I think the Foreign Policy of the U.S. in President Obama's second term can only be termed "incompetent" (and that is being extremely generous).

      That said, I haven't seen anything really coherent from the Republicans on this outside of the bi-partisanship on Sen. Menendez' plans. I certainly haven't seen anything from them that would make me vote for them, and I haven't seen anything concrete from them in how they are going to stop Iran from building a bomb (because Iran is doing just that and it is pretty freakin' obvious).

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    2. "That said, certainly the European nations do continually castigate Israel, like the vote in the U.N. yesterday (104-4) that declared Israel was the worst violator of Health Care in the world, and the Euro's supported that. I cannot even describe how disgusting that is."

      It's indescribably disgusting. But you certainly can understand it. Nepal. No good deed must be allowed to stand. Jews are news, but the news must never be good news. As the old song says, "How Long Has This Been Going On?"
      OT, BTW, the term "health care violator" just bothers the shit out of me. It carries the stench of fake litigious bullshit.

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    3. vb,
      I know you addressed this question to Mike, but if I may respond:

      If you believe that Israel is more important than US domestic policy ( policies that affect your fellow US Citizens) and is so important that it trumps your social values when you vote, then I must ask...why don't you live in Israel ?

      And so you have just voiced the same question that is being asked all over Europe. Mostly by people on the progressive left.
      To Jewish people whose homes are in Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Hungary, Russia, Greece, Spain, etc.etc.
      Israel- and its treatment by the international community- very much led by the Europeans, does not exist in a vacuum.
      Last year when people marched down the streets of London, the city I grew up in, and in which most of my family live, shouting " Death to the Jews" " Hitler was right" - as they did in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam etc - the state broadcasting company, the BBC, did not find it worth reporting on.
      You talk about " social values." What kind of social values are worth having when they include indifference to the reality of Jews in Europe feeling that they are no longer welcome or secure in their home countries?
      What are the social values that trump caring about the ongoing assault on European Jewish life? What are the social values that will be considered so important that watching Europe rid itself of its Jewish population will be taken in one's stride? A side issue. Nothing to bother about. Not much of a loss. Not in any way a tragedy.

      Well, I don't - can't - agree.
      Economic policies? Social welfare programmes? The fight against income inequality?
      In normal times, yes. These are not normal times.

      When " social values" no longer include concern for the possibility of Jews being driven out of Europe, they are not social values of any merit.
      You might as well ask the 1.4 million Jews of Europe to shut up whining and pack their bags for Israel.

      Social values: Roe.v Wade?
      The affordable healthcare act?

      Will that be worth it?
      Will it define caring, compassionate 'liberalism', or will it rather be a grotesque dereliction of duty? Something that has a stench to it.
      Europe has been here before. Albeit in a somewhat different way. It wasn't worth it then. It won't be this time round.
      "Never again." Well, maybe just once more...

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    4. Jeff -

      No good deed must be allowed to stand. Jews are news, but the news must never be good news. As the old song says, "How Long Has This Been Going On?"

      Yes... this.

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    5. To jump in on this.

      VB1, You missed the whole Baltimore posts, you should read so you understand I am a lot more left than Mike is. With that being stated...

      The right has embraced much hatred and bigotry, as such it does feel dirty to vote for them. The left on the other hand has hatred for only ONE minority group, do I even need to tell you who THAT is? LOL

      The way I am approaching the 2016 presidential election is

      I WANT with every fiber of my being to have Bernie Sanders get the D nod and WIN! I would vote for Bernie as his economic policies are actually truly progressive.

      But If my choice is going to be between a third-way corporate turd, HRC (Her Royal Clinton), then I will have to measure the stink of who wins the republican clown car show. Because if I have to choose between two corporatist, then I will have to go to my next determination on who I would support. And until the republican clown car show chooses a candidate, it is up in the air.

      I am in the small minority of progressive Jews who refuses to sell out Israel in the name of political ideology. As such because of that ONE issue, I have been called a right-winger more than once and worse.

      Liberalism, as ACTUALLY populism when you look at it more closely. This is why you see some people in liberal circles give (too much) credit to Rand Paul.

      These days, the parties split between who they want to cast as "the other" to inspire fear and hatred. As such I will call out the left on this, but that does NOT mean I am willing to embrace the hatred of the right just because OUR PEOPLE aren't the ones affected by it. As our history as shown persecution over many many years, I find it abhorrent to support hatred of other groups of people.

      The left will call me out on this because of how I view the "palestinians", but they are the same as the whites republicans point to every time a person of color is discriminated against. They are just a plant, a ruse to be used. Nothing more. Just as republicans truly don't give a damn about the whites in the inner cities (except when a person of color does something to them), the left doesn't give two shits about muslims being killed (unless the Jews are doing it. And they are doing it in SELF DEFENSE!)

      The rights economic policies are designed to discriminate and to give more and more to the corporations, but as long as the left is republican-lite, there is only just a slightly better degree of economic fairness (measured in crumbs).

      This is why I totally support Bernie Sanders, but should we get HRC (Her Royal Clinton), I may look towards the republican clown car show and hold my nose!

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    6. Well Pitt... I read the Baltimore threads....

      I agree with you on Sanders. I cannot wait to vote for him in the Primaries. BUT... he isn't going to win. I really cannot see it being anyone but HRC (who I will vote for as well, but, without as much enthusiasm as I would Sanders).

      I cannot agree with your other stuff about the Dems. Republican-lite unless by that you mean Republicans from the '70's. I mean I do agree that Corporate interests do get prioritized by the Dems. but, the Dems. are not going to strip the ACA (if it survives this Congress), they will pass introduce measures to help fund Vets and hopefully will have enough votes to veto the Republicans that filibuster those bills, but at least they try to get around Republican obstructionism on matters of the environment, voting rights, civil rights for minority communities and they will NOT go after a woman's right to choose.

      I get that your experience with DKos has made you bitter to the left. Look at my own GBCW from that shithole. I get that. But I don't let that affect my general view of things when it comes to voting. I mean I would like nothing more than to see them gnashing their teeth and pouring tears of manufactured outrage all over the place, but, I think too much is at stake for me to worry about my own petty fantasies of Schadenfruede (sp?).

      I hear you here too:

      I am in the small minority of progressive Jews who refuses to sell out Israel in the name of political ideology. As such because of that ONE issue, I have been called a right-winger more than once and worse.

      I too am called a Right Winger though, you know that I am pretty far from that, but... so what. As I said in one of my articles at PEP that they are the ones who are not "Progressive" not us.

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    7. I would respond to the social / domestic issues vs. Israel question by rejecting the very premise of it as an either / or thing, and noting that as long as Israel remains constantly targeted for delegitimization and elimination, it IS a social justice issue that cannot be placed in the "other" category.

      One amongst many, sure, but it's definitely one of them.

      And as long as Israel's enemies view Israel as a special case, it's not only right, but also necessary, that we do so as well.

      This should not be construed as an argument to vote for Republicans, but rather to note that if (key word there - if) the Democrats en masse eventually begin to move down the same road as large chunks of the European left, then they will most certainly be abandoning a key social justice issue, along with a large chunk of whatever moral high ground they previously held over the Republicans in the first place.

      If things get to that point, what do small differences in tax policy or rhetoric surrounding abortion matter if the guys on "our side" are also part of a movement legitimizing or spreading antisemitism, which as k notes, and as I'm sure we're all also aware of, is already exactly what is happening in Europe.

      I understand we're certainly not at that point yet, but once we do get there it'll be too late.

      In my opinion, it takes both types -- people like volley who are sticking with the Democrats, and people like Mike who are sticking it to the Democrats -- to prevent us from going down the European route, and I appreciate what each brings to the table.

      The only ones who are really doing it wrong are the J Street types. Pardon my language, but fuck them.

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    8. K--

      That is a whole discussion in itself.

      I think you misunderstand my point though. I am not telling Mike "America love it or leave it". As I said in the question, I was merely curious.

      My wife asked me that same question and believe it or not, I asked myself that question as well when I was considering Aliyah when I was living in Israel. My answer was that I absolutely love Israel and if needed would give my life for her. BUT... that I am an American, and that I love this country as my home (and I would give my life for this country as well) and that America and Americans were my priority when voting. That is not to say that Israel is not on my radar, it is. I would never vote for a candidate I considered anti-Israel (and yes that means I don't consider President Obama anti-Israel).

      SO because President Obama or most Democratic politicians do not support the Israeli Right Wing view of what should happen that in my mind does not make them anti-Israel. AND I am not willing in my opinion to sell out (with my vote) millions of Americans to appease that view.

      I will freely admit that the Left does make it hard to support their views due to the creeping anti-Zionist / anti-Semitic views that are starting to invade it but still exist as outliers, at least on the American Center / Center Left (which is the Democratic Party). But in no way can I justify voting for the Right just because I may agree with one or two things they say.

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    9. Yeah.. Jay.. while I may not agree with everything you are saying, I am also really disgusted by the J Streeters and more than that the JVP'ers as well.

      I say this as a former supporter of J Street. I just cannot support what they have become (which is a mouth piece for Pro-Palestinian rhetoric). I get that they don't like some of the things happening with the new government, I don't either.. but to sell out to give haters a forum is just unforgivable. So yep... Fuck 'em

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    10. The right has embraced much hatred and bigotry,

      What does that even mean? Can you provide a few examples where the right has embraced much hatred and bigotry?

      Liberalism is not populism or about class struggle, but principles of democracy and individual rights to liberty and equality.

      Heard Sanders last week, but don't believe that his wish to emulate European Social Democracy is the answer. Nor enforced equality. Would rather see a system that emphasizes opportunity over identity.

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    11. I don't buy that line to the extent that I used to, when I was far more partisan, School, but there is still a troubling amount of voter disenfranchisement efforts targeting inner city Blacks, fear-mongering about Hispanic immigrants, and anti-gay rhetoric practiced by not insignificant number of politicians and / or pundits on the right.

      They hardly own the franchise on hate on bigotry, though. I'll agree with you there.

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    12. Jay... I want to address one thing:

      If things get to that point, what do small differences in tax policy or rhetoric surrounding abortion matter if the guys on "our side" are also part of a movement legitimizing or spreading antisemitism, which as k notes, and as I'm sure we're all also aware of, is already exactly what is happening in Europe.

      I get where you are going with this and it makes some sense BUT, the thing is that the differences are not small. There are HUGE differences on things like Health Care, Environmental Issues, Voting Rights, and much, much more. If I thought the parties were similar or the same.. then I would agree with you but not on the American political scene as it exists.

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    13. Fair enough. I believe both sides have shown that their bark is far worse than their bite, so to speak, when it comes to turning their words and ideas into action when they have the power to do so, but I can see where you're coming from.

      Supreme Court appointments are one point I'll certainly give you.

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    14. Jay,
      thanks for taking that seriously.
      And I agree with what you say.

      vb,

      That is a whole discussion in itself . Maybe. But it is not a separate discussion. It can't be.
      Not unless one is living in a bubble.

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    15. Like I said, examples? It comes from both directions and one feeds on the other. Clearly there is enough bigotry and discrimination for all concerned. It comes back to identity politics, that takes Americans, makes them into something else, and breeds contempt for others and our society, which is actually and historically the most tolerant on the planet.

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    16. Jay you say this:

      ....but there is still a troubling amount of voter disenfranchisement efforts targeting inner city Blacks, fear-mongering about Hispanic immigrants, and anti-gay rhetoric practiced by not insignificant number of politicians and / or pundits on the right.

      It's not just Pundits. How about Governors Bobby Jindal (LA) and Mike Pence (IN) who openly support discrimination against same sex marriage and relationships and they are not just talking about it... they are acting on it. How about efforts from Rand Paul to roll back the Civil RIghts Act.
      Ask any Republican candidate how they feel about Roe v. Wade or the Affordable Care Act. These are things being dealt with now by politicians on the Right. It's not just rhetoric. These people are making things happen.

      Not too mention the Social Safety Net. Our Seniors and Veterans. Look at the Ryan Budget. How about Global Warming? Republicans in the South in a few states are making it ILLEGAL to even discuss it when pertaining to policy. I mean this is happening. It's not just harmless rhetoric.

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    17. My comment was in response to School's question asking for examples of hatred and bigotry on the right, and I included politicians right in the quote you used.

      I would never and have never claimed that rhetoric is harmless (we certainly know this in the case of antisemitism), I just maintain that our system is inherently set up to moderate even the most seemingly-extremist types from either side.

      Look at Senator Pat Toomey, for instance. I'll be voting for whoever his Democratic opponent is in next year's race (hopefully it'll be Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro), but he hardly turned out to be the fire-breathing radical that many thought he would be, once he got into the US Senate.

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    18. Fair enough Jay.. though I think our system is changing and not for the better.

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    19. As if Pence and Jindal act solely with the intent of discriminating, when they are promoting different fundamental, protected values.

      How convenient to leave that out of the talking points. When people ONLY look to them in one light, it paints the issue in a false light. It's no different than The Troubadour approach.

      Freedom of religion is meaningless to some people. Who cares if it's in the Constitution?

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    20. k,
      I couldn't put it better myself. And because I have been a long time follower of CiFWatch (now UKMediaWatch), I have had a window into what's been going on in Europe and the UK. This attitude is now being imported and mainstreamed here in the States through the MSM, i.e., an infiltration of very bad ideas and attitudes.
      This is very concerning. It is all so NOT about any particular Israeli policy. The question is about what are the acceptable trade offs, and this is where I tend to come down more on the side of Mike, and I guess, you.
      It's not just Israel, but the Jews in general and western civilization as we have known it. It is altogether unhealthy. Unlike Mike, I did not vote for Romney in the last election although I was tempted, but for the first time in my adult life I didn't vote for president.

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    21. K... You misunderstand (I don't mean that in a negative way, I just don't think either you are getting my post or I am not being clear).

      I don't mean to say you can separate the issues. I just mean that it is a move involved discussion than the one I think we started out with. I am not implying that it is a separate discussion.

      I think you raise an important issue but it is an issue of perspective and it's a devil's choice. From a perspective P.O.V. one first has to first establish that. I personally don't think President Obama is anti-Israel. I look at the facts and the way I interpret them, I don't see it. HOWEVER, many here or on the Right do see it that way. I can't understand where they are coming from and they can't understand where I am coming from. Ok... that's fair.

      So if we can't agree on P.O.V. perhaps we see solutions differently. I think in Europe that the mainstream Left is courting some very dangerous folks when it comes to anti-Semitism. I don't see that here, though that could change. It is not showing up though in either one of our main parties (well the Republicans do have their folks just look at what happened in Missouri: http://forward.com/news/215584/missouri-republican-tom-schweich-commits-suicide-a/)

      Bottom line is what happens when both sides want to destroy you? Then what?

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    23. Can't understand where people are coming from? Then why do you pontificate about every iota of what they say or categorically tell some they are wrong.

      Again, you admit you cannot understand where they are coming from. Are you being honest? Are you really that clueless?

      Most likely you know exactly where we are coming from. It's not like we are the only ones who notice Obama's conduct, either. He just told Jeff Goldberg he may abandon Israel if it does not live up to his view of Jewish values. If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium. Where have you been hiding not to see?

      Fortunately, you are clear where you are coming from. You believe that America would be less pro-Israel but for Obama. Anyway, he's fighting the Republicans.

      Unless I am mistaken, Obama's support among Jews across the planet has decreased. Do you care where they are coming from? It will be interesting to see how he acts after he is no longer required to support Israel as representative of the American people. Without constraint, is there much doubt he will gravitate to J Street or even beyond? Vegas should give odds.

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    24. VB1,

      I cannot agree with your other stuff about the Dems. Republican-lite unless by that you mean Republicans from the '70's. I mean I do agree that Corporate interests do get prioritized by the Dems. but, the Dems. are not going to strip the ACA (if it survives this Congress), they will pass introduce measures to help fund Vets and hopefully will have enough votes to veto the Republicans that filibuster those bills, but at least they try to get around Republican obstructionism on matters of the environment, voting rights, civil rights for minority communities and they will NOT go after a woman's right to choose.

      1) Strip ACA. We cheer about a heritage foundation answer to healthcare (in case you forgot) As such we are fighting to keep a bad CONSERVATIVE plan versus a worse NO plan. i.e. Republican-lite

      2) Agreed about the vets! The republicans support the military ONLY for the MIC.

      3) I did agree that republicans DO target minorities. Just remember the democrats ALSO target a minority --- JEWS. As such, because the democrats only target one minority group versus multiple minorities -- republican-lite!

      I personally don't think President Obama is anti-Israel.
      Obama has repeatedly gone out of his way to disrespect Israel and Bibi. Obama's treatment of another head of state is shameful. Just because Obama is on your/our team doesn't make it ok. Basically Obama has told Bibi to enter the whitehouse through the servants entrance. If you can't see that because you don't like Bibi, well there isn't much I can say.

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    25. Democrats target more than Jews. They target conservatives and Christians on campus, and one can only pity anyone that steps out of line, like the Mozilla guy.

      Like Andrew Sullivan said:

      “When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance.”

      http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/04/04/dissents-of-the-day-63/

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    26. vb,

      I think if you were in Europe you would realise that the mainstream left here have everything in common with President Obama when it comes to Israel. That's largely why they fall over themselves with admiration for him. They can't believe their luck. Both, the political parties, and the liberal media that support them. I very much doubt whether President Obama disagrees with any of the output on Israel /Palestine produced by the Guardian, for example. Or its editorial line. Or that of the New York Times.
      I don't think Obama's problem is with the Israeli rightwing. I'm sure he can't stand them. That's clear. I think his problem is much deeper than that. Very much like his counterparts here.
      The mainstream left here ooze hatred for Israel from their pores. And verge very close to plain old jew hatred, too.
      It's everywhere.
      Toxic.

      If President Obama ( or when) throws Israel to the mercies of the UN, will he still be considered pro-Israel?
      Will that just be some sort of "tough love?"

      Bottom line is what happens when both sides want to destroy you

      There are anti- Zionists and anti- Semites on the right.

      But, overwhelming, as sides, it is the left who are driving people's fears and anxieties.
      It is the parties of the left who are most obsessively and repellently dangerous.


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    27. Part I -

      Oh good lord... You really don't know when to quit. Here is the interview with Goldberg: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/05/obama-interview-iran-isis-israel/393782/#ISIS

      So you said:

      Most likely you know exactly where we are coming from. It's not like we are the only ones who notice Obama's conduct, either. He just told Jeff Goldberg he may abandon Israel if it does not live up to his view of Jewish values. If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium. Where have you been hiding not to see?

      That is pure nonsense. He told Goldberg NO. SUCH. THING. The interview is right there. People here can read it for themselves. They don't have to read what the Right INTERPRETS it as (you are talking about the "consequences" comment, but that DOES NOT MEAN ABANDON, they can read it if they wish and I would suggest they do.

      In fact PRESIDENT Obama did say this:

      You know, I think a good baseline is: Do you think that Israel has a right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people, and are you aware of the particular circumstances of Jewish history that might prompt that need and desire? And if your answer is no, if your notion is somehow that that history doesn’t matter, then that’s a problem, in my mind. If, on the other hand, you acknowledge the justness of the Jewish homeland, you acknowledge the active presence of anti-Semitism—that it’s not just something in the past, but it is current—if you acknowledge that there are people and nations that, if convenient, would do the Jewish people harm because of a warped ideology. If you acknowledge those things, then you should be able to align yourself with Israel where its security is at stake, you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora, you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated.

      Oh and here is some more hatred from the Administration:

      The U.S. has approved a $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel that analysts say is likely intended to offset its objections to the emerging nuclear agreement with Iran.

      The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Wednesday on its website that the deal had received State Department authorization and will now be sent to Congress for review, where it is certain to be approved. The package includes 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 250 AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, and 50 BLU-113 “bunker-buster” bombs.

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    28. Part II

      Fortunately, you are clear where you are coming from. You believe that America would be less pro-Israel but for Obama. Anyway, he's fighting the Republicans.

      Why do you insist on spouting nonsense? Why? Are you huffing what Trudy is hitting?

      I don't think that America would be less Pro-Israel if not for PRESIDENT Obama. I just think he is Pro-Israel.

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    29. Agree with this completely.

      However, just like the Jews are responsible for all evil, to some in America it's the Republicans and Fox News who are responsible. It makes for good copy, especially when your audience has been conditioned.

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    30. oldschool26,

      Democrats target more than Jews. They target conservatives and Christians on campus, and one can only pity anyone that steps out of line, like the Mozilla guy.

      Like Andrew Sullivan said:

      “When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance.”

      http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/04/04/dissents-of-the-day-63/


      1) How do Democrats target Christians? I don't see Democrats calling for boycotts on Vatican city. Hell, the Democrats have lately been CHEERING Christianity as the Pope has befriended the "palestinians"

      2)Conservatives? That is just both sides targeting each other about politics. That is not in the same arena as what we are discussing

      3) The Mozilla Guy. He was intolerant of another group. The whole conservative thing about tolerating intolerance is pure crap. No person should have to tolerate INTOLERANCE! Or do you think we should be tolerant of such groups as the KKK?

      Delete
    31. vb1,

      About the 1.9 Billion arms deal. It has been out there that this is part of a deal (payout) with Israel for her to go along with the BAD Iranian deal that Obama wants to push through.

      So let's not try to ascribe some altruistic notion to this, and see it for what it is. Which is Obama selling out Israel's security so that Obama can put Iranian deal on his legacy. Nothing more.

      Delete
    32. K -

      No disrespect but I am not in Europe, I am in the U.S. and President Obama is our President. He is not President of the Jewish People. He is President of the U.S. That the mainstream Left in Europe supports him is irrelevant to me.

      I will agree with you that the Left in Europe has embraced anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism (though when was Europe not embracing anti-Semitism?) But the U.S. is not Europe.

      The President straight up said today that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Read the Goldberg interview. The link is above. Don't read the pundits explanations. Just read the interview. I don't agree with everything he said but I do agree with most of it.

      And really.. what is the U.N. going to do? Be more anti-Israel? Is that even possible?

      As long as the U.S. continues it's Security Cooperation and funding for Israel's defense at the incredibly high level it has been then I don't really have an issue. Sorry.

      Delete
    33. Pitt,

      No there is nothing "altruistic" about that arms deal. But you don't do that deal if you don't support someone. The Iran deal sucks. Not sure why none of you seem to hear me saying that.

      I know you and I are in agreement with some of this and we disagree on other things. It's all good.

      Delete
    34. J Street tell us it's pro-peace, pro-Israel, too, when it's not busy lobbying Obama at the WH to walk away from Israel at the UN.

      Many words can be cancelled by a few. Obama's pertinent words:

      “And when I was in Jerusalem and I spoke, the biggest applause that I got was when I spoke about those kids I had visited in Ramallah, and I said to a Israeli audience that it is profoundly Jewish, it is profoundly consistent with Israel’s traditions to care about them. And they agreed. So if that’s not translated into policy—if we’re not willing to take risks on behalf of those values—then those principles become empty words, and in fact, in my mind, it makes it more difficult for us to continue to promote those values when it comes to protecting Israel internationally.”

      That was just today's example. There are a font of them. Why is it so difficult for us? It should not be difficult for anyone that supports Israel. Is it difficult for you? Can you drop your Obama worship for anything?

      Delete
    35. I forgot. You have no clue why someone could see those words in an anti-Israel light.

      Delete
    36. Yeah, the UN could be more anti-Israel without American support in the Security Council. Surely you cannot believe such a glib remark.

      The relevance that Obama seems to come from the same cloth as European leftists when it comes to Israel is also obvious. It has nothing to do with his occupation, but his outlook.

      Delete
    37. oldschool, I think you get goofier with each post

      That was just today's example. There are a font of them (JStreet). Why is it so difficult for us? It should not be difficult for anyone that supports Israel. Is it difficult for you? Can you drop your Obama worship for anything?

      First off, So if J Street supports someone or something does that mean they or it is "anti-Israel"? So for instance, if I support a Two-State solution and J Street supports a Two State Solution does that mean I am anti-Israel?

      Second of all, in the context of the interview.. there is no way that those words can be interpreted as anti-Israel unless someone had a political agenda against the President. You wouldn't know anyone like that, would you oldschool?

      As for:

      Yeah, the UN could be more anti-Israel without American support in the Security Council. Surely you cannot believe such a glib remark.

      Some day's I actually do believe that... some days. I don't see the U.S. abandoning Israel at the U.N. but, remember EVERY U.S. President has stated that the Two State Solution is at the heart of U.S. Policy there. Even though PM Netanyahu makes noise about that, no one really believes him and today Tzipi Hotoveley the Deputy FM just said that the West Bank / Occupied Territories / HaKibush / Judea and Samaria ARE all Israeli territory. So how should the U.S. react.

      Should they do what George Bush did and cut aid? Please enlighten us.

      Delete
    38. Pitt:

      1. I did not talk about the Vatican, but on campuses. It is not hard to find examples of bigotry.

      2. It IS the same. It's NOT just "back and forth" when conservatives are vastly outnumbered. Do you not acknowledge the disproportionality?

      3. Obama, in 2008, had the same opinion as the Mozilla guy. When did he ever discriminate against anyone? His case shows the bigotry of having wrong thoughts and Sullivan was on point.

      Are you saying that you believe in Repressive Tolerance ala Marcuse? I do not.

      Delete
    39. Holy crap... I missed that... Wait.... oldschool do you really think that:

      Democrats target more than Jews. They target conservatives and Christians on campus....

      You really think Democrats target both Jews and Christians???? Really???

      Dammit.. you found us out... All our secret plans.. ruined, If it only weren't for you kids and that dog...

      And here is where the discussion departs the known universe and heads for points unknown.

      Delete
    40. oldschool26,

      1) There is bigotry even more against Jews on college campuses in the US. And most of the "Anti-christian" so called bigotry is that colleges refuse to let them use religion to discriminate against the LGBT community.

      2) Conservatives and Progressives outnumber each other in different areas in America. I can find places in the US where either group is a tiny minority

      3) I agree that in 2008, Obama was against equal rights for all in America. he should be ashamed of that! But as he has some muslim sympathies, it took Joe Biden forcing the issue with his unfiltered talking that pushed Obama forward. Just because Obama was acting like a bigot in 2008 doesn't absolve others of continuing to act in a bigoted fashion.

      Repressive tolerance? That name alone suggests a conservative spin to de-legitimize the whole notion of tolerance

      Delete
    41. Pitt:

      Educate yourself about Herbert Marcuse!

      Yes, Jews take the brunt. And there are discrepancies in political makeup, but to suggest that Christians and conservatives are not subjects of bigotry on campus is a mistake. The progressives rule the roost and it shows in what is taught and who is hired and all the way down the food chain.

      When 96% of professors in the Ivy League gave to Obama in 2012, what does that say about the prevailing climate?

      Or look what happened to the girls at UCSB.

      I suggest you take a look at Kirsten Powers's new book. She is not alone

      The Mozilla guy never ACTED in a bigoted fashion. That is the very point made by Sulllivan and others. It spells a climate of intolerance much more prevalent on the left, which is significantly Democratic.

      Delete
    42. Yes, I do. I bet the some of the nice folks that partner with SJP are registered Democrats. In fact, I know it. Almost every day there are examples. You are one of the very people who do it.

      You can ridicule as you wish. It helps prove being made.

      Delete
    43. Pitt:

      Familiar with Greg Lukianoff and FIRE:

      Read this:

      https://d28htnjz2elwuj.cloudfront.net/pdfs/4479_2685.pdf

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323894704578115440209134854

      Go to some party with progressives and Democrats and between the Merlot and finger good you will often hear words of bigotry toward Christians, conservatives, and Zionists. Not to mention the humanitarian racism that can be prevalent.

      Delete
    44. Go to some party with progressives and Democrats and between the Merlot and finger good you will often hear words of bigotry toward Christians, conservatives, and Zionists. Not to mention the humanitarian racism that can be prevalent.

      You don't go to a lot of parties do you?

      And nothing like taking some dumb stereotype and thinking it is real. Nicely done.

      Delete
    45. You said this:

      Yes, I do. I bet the some of the nice folks that partner with SJP are registered Democrats. In fact, I know it. Almost every day there are examples. You are one of the very people who do it.

      You can ridicule as you wish. It helps prove being made.


      First of all.... What???

      Second of all, You mean that since some of the SJP are Democrats that all Democrats support the SJP? That is like saying that some Neo-Nazi's are Republicans so does that mean that all Republicans are Neo Nazi's. What a stupid, stupid comment.

      Third, I am one of the people who do what? I oppress Christians and Jews? What in the world are you babbling about.

      Delete
    46. From Israellycool: Mirabelle's take on the Jeffrey Goldberg interview with Obama.

      http://www.israellycool.com/2015/05/22/loving-israel-to-death/

      Delete
    47. vb,

      I can understand that what happens in Europe is irrelevant to you. I can also question whether it ought to be.
      You're right in saying President Obama is the president of the United States. Of course. And in that position, uniquely in the world, he exercises - as do all modern American presidents- power beyond any other player on the world stage. That is how it is. For good and for bad.
      Every signal he and his administration send out is picked up and magnified all around the world. As they well know.
      It is irrelevant whether in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg he said something that sounds supportive today. He has been in office for more than six years. Enormous damage has been done in that time. That damage is felt in countries all over the world.
      It is irrelevant whether George W Bush caused damage. Or, indeed, whatever mistakes Reagan made. They are not in power.
      Not now.
      Now, the buck stops with Obama.
      Like it or not, if engaged, politically aware American citizens are not fully cognizant that their domestic leader has an overwhelming impact on what happens around the globe, that is a problem.
      It is to America that the people of Syria have looked. It was to America that the Iranians who took to the streets to protest looked. When they looked they found nothing.
      It is, like it or not, to America that the Jews of Europe have looked. America has provided a bulwark against the anti- Semitism endemic in Europe. Many American presidents have faltered, but none has created so much concern and fear as President Obama. Many of the people who now feel that fear are people ( like myself) who cheered him on in the election. I do not cheer him now.

      I do not know whether if I lived in the US I would vote for a Republican candidate.
      I did not vote for the Conservatives here. I did not, for the first time, use my vote. I will not vote for a Labour party that is deliberately trying to divide my country along ethnic and religious lines.
      Or that is playing politics with anti- Semitism through its egregious posturing on Israel / Palestine.

      Times change. Sometimes times become pregnant with things that many people find difficult to face up to.
      My guess is that in Europe, for example, as opposed to the US, that sense of bigger things lurking dangerously is more recognisable.Perhaps it is bound to be.
      Many European Jews are in limbo. Some have shifted to vote for more centrist parties. Others have stayed on the left - perhaps even more to the left- but have found that their 'politics' is now something that they practise through their work or their involvement in social issues. But not through their support for the traditional parties of the left. They are concerned about the political landscape and they are concerned about the endless messages spewing out of our media. Not marginal media, but our mainstream - taxpayer - funded - media.

      I do not think that the argument that one can ignore certain issues and just concentrate on the ' usual' ones, stands up. There are times when it shouldn't.
      Usually, that is only understood when it is too late.
      Sometimes people cannot believe that there will be a time when things are "too late." They were too busy concentrating on other things.














      Delete
    48. No K... This is what I mean by not reading my posts.

      I did not say:

      I can understand that what happens in Europe is irrelevant to you. I can also question whether it ought to be.

      What happens in Europe is NOT irrelevant to me. What I said was;

      No disrespect but I am not in Europe, I am in the U.S. and President Obama is our President. He is not President of the Jewish People. He is President of the U.S. That the mainstream Left in Europe supports him is irrelevant to me.

      Meaning that it is irrelevant to me whether the Mainstream Left in Europe supports President Obama or not. What does that mean? It means I judge the President by what he does and what he represents to me as an American. I don't care who else likes him around the world. I care how I perceive him.

      I do care about what's happening in Europe, the problem is that I don't think anyone else here in the U.S. who you might consider an alternative currently would do a better job.

      Delete
    49. vb,

      I think that if you - or anyone else - cares about what is happening in Europe, particularly with regards to the treatment of European Jews, then it must be necessary to grasp that President Obama' s actions and utterances have gone a long way to green light hostile and dangerous attitudes to Israel and to Jews here.
      Obama is an icon in Europe. Everything he says and does is enormously influential. When they hear these signals coming from the Obama White House, it matters immeasurably.
      He has helped to ' give permission ' to European politicians, commentators, and citizens to indulge their anti-Zionism and, unfortunately, their anti-Semitism.

      It's not a question of whether I can think of anyone in the US who could do a better job.
      It's a question of how much damage Obama- and his administration - have done. And how much more they can do in their remaining time in office.

      You said earlier in a comment that you had once considered relocating to Israel. But that you, understandably, "love" your country; America. That you feel American.
      Many European Jews also " love" their country. And would not choose to live in Israel. The difference is, some European Jews ( and there is every reason to believe that those numbers will increase), however much they love their country, are finding it necessary to leave. They are being pushed out of their homes. They do not love France - or feel French - for example, any less than you and others on this blog love America, and any less than you feel American.
      I think that is a tragedy. And that American Jews should be concerned about every factor that is playing into that. Including the actions of the present incumbent of the White House.

      Delete
    50. K,

      Right on! Too few American Jews are, particularly of the secular variety. Too far removed and too convinced that the social justice movement is about justice. It's incredible how ill-informed may are about basic facts.

      Delete
    51. K-

      Alternatives matter and the alternatives to President Obama at this time represent a disaster in terms of policy both foreign and domestic. So whatever "signals" the President sends, what would come from the other side is far, far worse.

      Bottom line K.. is that I vote for President with how they govern and what the realities in place are currently existing. As far as I can tell, President Obama is better for America than the alternatives, both domestically and otherwise. Now some here (well most) may disagree. That's ok. But that is my opinion, and nothing I have seen here is going to change that opinion.

      One thing, I will grant you... I think that his foreign policy is inept. I think that his administration, especially since Hillary left State, is doing a piss poor job. That said, I think it is light years better than anything the Republicans are offering up. So that should tell you something. And yes K... it does matter what the Republicans are offering up because if you advocate for something you should understand the ramifications of what you advocate for. You don't want Pres. Obama there... Fine. What's the alternative and what are their specific plans.

      Delete
    52. K,

      As I am sure you understand, the alternatives do not necessarily represent a disaster, except to people that act like Obama is a member of the immediate family to be defended at all costs.

      Actually, an outside observer might reasonably say that Obama's way has been a disaster and that an alternative might well improve things.

      Delete
    53. I'm not advocating a specific alternative.
      I'm criticising President Obama.
      He deserves to be criticised. A great deal.
      In times to come, my guess is that he will be judged harshly. He will deserve to be.

      Actually, I disagree that some other politicians in the same job would have, on the subject of Israel /Palestine, caused an equal amount of harm. Harm that is having, and will have, such wide ramifications.
      Not necessarily at all.
      I fail to see how they could have done so.

      His domestic agenda is a separate issue. ( Although, not entirely.)
      If that is the sole thing that matters to you, then that's how it is.

      Delete
    54. And K.. you are welcome to disagree. I would and will be happy to discuss this with. If you can tell me, first off what the Republicans propose then how that would be better, please let me know.

      I know that McCain (R-AZ) and Graham (R-SC) want to step up funding and equipping the Syrian rebels. Now the White House is doing that in a limited way, but that is a horrible strategy. Because after all... who are the Syrian Rebels but al-Qaeda AND the Islamic State. The President's idea is too only fund "vetted" groups, but, unfortunately those groups often team up with the Nusra Front which is now dominated by the Jihadi's. The Republicans have proposed going further and and simply arming the rebels. I am not sure that is a good idea at all, in fact I am pretty sure that is a crappy idea.

      The thing I do agree with the President on is to train small groups of Special Forces troops both in the "Moderate" Opposition (which doesn't have much influence) and in Jordan, and currently our troops are doing that, working with both Jordanian Special Forces and very small numbers of Syrians. Oh and bombing Islamic State forces, but we are already doing that.

      Then there is dealing with the Islamic State. Sen. Graham (R-SC) proposes more American troops and arms for Iraqi soldiers. Of course, the Iraqi's drop their weapons and run at the first opportunity so in effect when we train their armed forces we are giving weapons to the more battle hardened IS forces. Would 10,000 trainers make the difference? I don't think so. Short of re-inserting American Ground forces not much would. Of course, the American public is firmly against that, so....

      Now we could and should be arming and working with the Kurds, but that compromises our alliance with Turkey (which I personally think needs be re-thought anyway). However the Incerlik AFB is very important so... .

      Where do President Obama's opponents stand on this issue, because that is really the pressing issue in the ME. What are their specific proposals?

      So you said: :

      Actually, I disagree that some other politicians in the same job would have, on the subject of Israel /Palestine, caused an equal amount of harm. Harm that is having, and will have, such wide ramifications.
      Not necessarily at all.I fail to see how they could have done so.


      Ok.. what are the Republicans proposing on Israel that the President is not doing? Perhaps you or someone else can lay out their plan. I do know that they support the current coalition (the one that has a razor thin two (2) vote lead in the Knesset. But what are the specifics of their support?

      I mean if people are going to vote for them in 2016 shouldn't they have a go "forward plan"? Shouldn't we know what it is? Please let me know. Now I am not asking what you think the Republicans should do... I am asking what you what they specifically say they would do. Are they better? And how are they better?

      Just to address this:

      His domestic agenda is a separate issue. ( Although, not entirely.)
      If that is the sole thing that matters to you, then that's how it is.


      Though my orientation personally is to foreign policy, that is what I am much more interested in and that is what my degree is in... I vote more on domestic concerns. FP is about 4th or 5th on my list. I def. go with Monetary policy (Economics) which includes the Social Safety Net system as # 1, Healthcare #2, Education #3, Environment #4 (but that is moving up) and then FP. But that is just how I vote, and I am not saying anyone else should have the same priorities.


      Delete
    55. vb,
      If you check through what I wrote, I was not referring to ideas re any kind of 'military' strategy or involvement in Syria or Iraq. It is, of course, a huge subject as to what - if any - kind of action could possibly help. And whether any strategy using US personnel and weaponry to arm or train other parties involved in these conflicts should or shouldn't happen. There are, as you say, small operations going on. The realities on the ground are enormously complex. I'm sure we would all agree.
      That is also true regarding any involvement of other western countries. It has been, and might have to continue to be - a serious debate here in the UK.
      As with the US public, the UK public is very disinclined to see our government and military take any significant action in these conflicts. After Afghanistan and Iraq, there is little public appetite for any such intervention.
      I think the realities of the worsening situation might mean our government will have to think very hard about whether continuing as we are is a tenable policy. We shall see. What ever happens, it is fraught with difficulty and danger.

      What I was referring to was the way in which the Obama White House has behaved towards Israel, and some of the rhetoric they have employed.
      Here are a few things I doubt would have happened under another administration:
      That the president's first official phone- call on taking office would have been to the Palestinian leader.
      That senior White House officials would have leaked that Israel's prime minister was called a " chicken- shit" by someone high up in the administration.
      That the secretary of state would be caught saying Israel was on the verge of being an "apartheid state."
      That there was a significant threat that the US would no longer support Israel at the UN.
      That the Israeli prime minister would be deliberately kept waiting or denied access to the White House.
      That over and over again, the kind of language used by members of the administration would be so disrespectful and so inflammatory.
      Etc.Etc.

      These kinds of things have reverberated around the world.
      They have been splashed on the front-pages of our newspapers and have been huge stories in our broadcast media. They have incrementally built up a picture of a US administration that has been quite prepared to add fuel to the fire for those - and they are many - who wish to see Israel treated as a pariah state. It is not enough to continue military aid if at the same time there is deliberate use of language that is a gift to people and countries that seek to undermine Israel in every way.
      It is impossible to not acknowledge that that has happened. Or that it has not been ' understood' all around the world.
      Other major countries in the Middle East are for the first time watching a situation in which they have said that if the US can abandon Israel, it will have no qualms in abandoning them.
      No serious administration with an understanding of the importance of ' diplomatic ' language and nuance would have failed to know to what degree these sorts of things would impact on the way Israel is seen and talked about around the world.
      A remark made, seemingly, not for public consumption that finds its way into the public domain, can cause untold damage. And, perhaps, is intended to.

      That kind of harm is immeasurable.

      One thing you mentioned that was about direct military action; the bombing of ISIS in Iraq: It is unreasonable to suggest, I would venture, that if the political will was there, that that operation would not be far more committed and far more aggressive.
      It has, so far, been undeniably and tragically ineffective. With terrifying consequences for the people of that region. One would have to question why the political will seems to be absent in the face of what we are seeing.

      Delete
  4. American Jews are certainly outliers as diaspora Jews generally. They are further left than most, many are anti Israel and a few are openly antisemitic. For whatever reason. I tend not to worry or care about motivation and look at things as a behaviorist or an attorney might. But as outliers, that's what they are. It's fundamental they have taken themselves out of the equation. Perhaps it's sane to simply allow Israel and American Jews to go their separate ways. Why should Israel care all that much about we think? So Americans generally loathe Israel. So what, so do most people. The fact that they're liberals or Jews at all is immaterial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A disproportionate number identify as progressive and practice the religion of secularism.

      Kirsten Powers, in an recent interview, said this:

      But what struck me while writing the book is that the illiberal Left reminds me of religious zealots, except of a secular religion. The average religious person has their beliefs, but they’re not trying to get people fired who don’t have their beliefs. But zealots do do that. It’s not enough for them to believe it; they can’t tolerate other people who don’t believe what they believe, and they have this absolute certainty that they’re right. It’s self-sanctifying. They have to establish that they are morally superior to people who disagree with them. It’s social signaling: “My identity comes from the fact that I’m pro-gay marriage and pro-choice and believe in climate change and oppose charter schools.”

      There’s nothing wrong with believing those things. It’s the need to de-legitimize anybody who doesn’t believe them, that puts them in a different category.


      http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/may-web-only/kirsten-powers-rise-of-intolerant-left.html

      Delete
    2. Trudy,

      A couple of things.

      American Jews are certainly outliers as diaspora Jews generally. They are further left than most, many are anti Israel and a few are openly antisemitic.

      This is not even close to accurate.

      First of all,American Jews are over 70% of the diaspora and of that according to the last Pew survey (and voting trends) more than 60% self identify as Democrats and Liberals. So I am not sure how we are "outliers" since we represent more than half the sample size.

      many are anti Israel and a few are openly antisemitic.

      Anti-Israel??? Huh... No.. a small minority are anti-Israel, and yes a few, like David Harris Gershon, Max Blumenthal, and David Mizner (just to name a few) are outright anti-Semites. But they are hardly the norm.

      And this holds for poll after poll after poll.

      So Americans generally loathe Israel.

      Err come again?? What???

      According to Gallup and Pew, Americans OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT Israel by close to a 4 to 1 margin

      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/American_attitudes_toward_Israel.html

      http://www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/jewish-american-beliefs-attitudes-culture-survey/

      I understand from the crazies on the internet how you might get that feeling but, honestly your statements don't really hold up to numbers.


      Delete
    3. I am truly uninterested in your left wing nonsense. Utterly. That's my point. Feel free to wrap yourself in a Palestinian flag and go protest until your fucking head explodes. Go vote for ghost of Bakunin in the next Presidential election. Go vote for the ghost of Rosa Luxemburg. Please. Go further left than Pol Pot and keep going.

      Delete
    4. LOL Trudy... When you are hitting the Crystal Meth... do you find that it affects your posting?

      Delete
    5. BTW, Trudy... that is an awesome post. For pure craziness and all out lunacy - you have def. got that locked down. I saw that and actually spit my drink out, that is so funny.

      Delete
    6. "So Americans generally loathe Israel."

      Trudy,
      Who told you that?

      Delete
    7. While Empress Trudy is way to the right of me, I must agree with her on somethings.

      Growing up in the middle of nowhere rural America being the only Jewish family, I found that I never really fit in when I went to religious school or Temple. As I grew older, I found that the fact that many of the congregation sadly fit a stereotype of wealth and power. As such I drifted from my faith for many years.

      What brought me back was the internet. I was able to communicate with Israeli people. I found that I had a lot more in common with the lower and middle class of Israel than I did with the Jewish population here in the states. (The type that I rarely saw except high holy days, where our family who normally sat at the front was moved to the very back for the wealthy who showed up only for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana)

      As such, my views many times align more with Israeli Jews, than American Jews. For instance, the fact that many well to do Jews in America have no appreciation or love for Israel. They are comfortable in their lives and feel that Israel is somehow "evil" when regarding her enemies. they have no understanding of what it is to struggle. They never had to join the military as a way to improve their life. They have never worried about scraping by as your job gets consolidated down. They know too much luxury, and no hardships.

      This is why too many American Jews get portrayed as wealthy people looking down on others telling them they know best. This is why they have no real understanding of the struggles of the Israeli people. They think that they can then tell Israel to basically surrender to her enemies because they know best.

      This problem has been brought down upon us by too much WEALTH in our community. Basically the flip side of the wealthy republican coin. Those who have never had to want, do not understand those of us who have to WORK and SACRIFICE to survive! That is why I believe I understand Israel and her needs far more than the average American Jew.

      This is why they don't understand Israel!

      Delete
    8. No PItt.. Trudy is not right here. The numbers simply don't bear her claims out.

      You are citing anecdotal evidence, which I think we all have faced. I lived in Israel and I hang out with a fair number of Israelis due to my hobbies (Krav Maga and Israeli Tactical Point Shooting), and I would say that American Jews don't really understand Israelis.

      If I may... I had a very similar experience with Judaism and Israel that you have had. So I get what you are saying...

      But that is a far cry from what Trudy stated. Her comments were just opinions pulled from the nether regions of her rear end.

      Delete
    9. "I tend not to worry or care about motivation and look at things as a behaviorist or an attorney might."
      I like that, Trudy. Sometimes I think that is the best way to go. Dry and sober.

      Delete
    10. American Jews, as a group, tend to be further left politically than either Israeli Jews or non-America diaspora Jews. For example, 70 percent of British Jews just voted conservative, while only 22 percent backed labour.

      These labels, however, to my mind, are becoming more and more meaningless.

      There is nothing inherently "conservative" about any of my positions and if there were, there is nothing dishonerable in holding a conservative view on any particular issues. The problem with the western-left today, in my view, is that it is failing to stand up for its own values. By giving political Islam a pass, it is pissing universal human rights straight down the toilet.

      Delete
    11. Mike... Gotta disagree with you on the "inherently" Conservative thing.

      BUT....

      You are right when you say:

      there is nothing dishonerable in holding a conservative view on any particular issues.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong, or "dishonorable" about holding "Conservative Views" on any issues. I hold some what would be considered "Conservative Views" on a number of issues.

      I think though that it is in how we define "Liberal" and "Conservative" (and I read the discussion below). I tend to go with the modern definitions of the term. And I think in our interactions (and my interactions with oldschool) I think that has been a problem. I feel that you guys are not being "Liberal" in the modern sense yet saying you are and I felt that was deceptive. HOWEVER, I think because of your post below, I can see what you are saying, even if I disagree.

      I agree with this in large part btw:

      By giving political Islam a pass, it is pissing universal human rights straight down the toilet.

      I think though that Political Islam is a nuanced term where there are many different forms. Had your statement been "By giving radical Political Islam a pass..." (which they do), I would be 100% in agreement.

      Delete
    12. "For example, 70 percent of British Jews just voted conservative, while only 22 percent backed labour."
      Probably for the same reasons you voted for Romney. In Britain there was not much doubt about Ed Miliband and Labour's stance on Israel.
      I'm sure plenty of left leaning Jews did not vote for Labour.

      I personally do not use "left," "liberal," and "progressive" as synonyms. "Left" is a broad category, and, by the way so is "right." I notice you used the term "conservative," rather than "right wing." How very refreshing.

      Delete
  5. How can one consider oneself liberal, in the contemporary American sense of that word, while abandoning liberal political venues and actually voting for a Republican? That is an entirely fair question and I did, in fact, vote for Mitt Romney in the last American presidential election.

    Perhaps because conservatives also believe in and defend liberal values. America is liberal in this world, from day one. Conservatives believe in individual rights. What is more liberal than that?

    It is not just domestic v. foreign. Conservatives these days stand for free expression. Only one side is trying to shut down speech. Who is the liberal?

    The examples of illiberality on the left are well known and seen daily. So who is who when it comes to defending the essence of liberalism.

    I increasingly see that progressive thought and deed trends toward illiberality, and it cannot brag of results. Look at the universities and the American city. Look at the vulgarity in the culture. See how the environmentalist jets around the globe to attend carbon conferences. Or how some decry money in politics and pretend to champion the common man as they raise $2.5 BILLLION!

    In other words, neither side has a monopoly on being the liberal one.

    Many make it solely D v. R, and extend it to ALL issues, irrespective of merits or facts. They may cast it differently, but it's obvious that they will rationalize any principle.

    The fact there is not more criticism is a red herring. Republicans are not hiding intentions. It's not the same as with Gershon (another censor, by the way). Instead of trying to persuade honestly, he believes that deception is fair in the cause. Another progressive precept, that means justify ends. J Street and BDS operate similarly. It's easy to say you care about peace and justice. But is it liberal to behave this way?

    Nor are Republicans actually going after Jews. Evangelicals are not either. It's progressives and mainliners among the major players in the anti-Israel game, directly or indirectly. They look, of course, the other way at Muslim hate, incitement and aggression, yet there is no hesitation to tarnish those who speak out against real injustice as Islamophobes.

    The content here is generally on point to purpose of the blog. It's not about trade policy, the minimum wage, or issues like baking cakes for gay weddings. One should not expect criticism of conservatives as a result.

    ReplyDelete
  6. American leftists are by and large posers. Marxists of convenience when their idea of privation is a day without LTE phone service. It's the feel good-ism of the rich dictating that the middle class give to the poor.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When J Street first formed I went to the local JCC to see a debate between Jeremy Ben Ami and Alan Dershowitz. From that moment I knew I didn't like J Street and its "I know what's best for Israel" partisan crap. My support for Israel as a country does not rest on who the Israeli electorate chooses to vote for. That is their business. It is their country, and their issues. What I support is their right to their independence. None of that is up to me, and it certainly isn't up to J Street. Fuck J Street and the "pro" Israel advocacy of "maybe Israel ain't such a good idea" Daniel Levy .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This.

      "My support for Israel as a country does not rest on who the Israeli electorate chooses to vote for. That is their business. It is their country, and their issues. What I support is their right to their independence. None of that is up to me, and it certainly isn't up to J Street."

      Very well said.

      Delete
    2. Interesting op-ed:

      J Street is President Obama’s political home

      Now more than ever, it is clear that J Street is Obama's political and ideological home and he and Michelle should come join the J Street National Conference next month.


      http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/J-Street-is-President-Obamas-political-home-392207

      During WH Meeting, J-Street Offers Support to Obama In Removing Veto Protection at UN

      http://jpupdates.com/2015/04/16/during-wh-meeting-j-street-offers-support-to-obama-in-removing-veto-protection-at-un/

      Yet some people say they cannot even understand where why one could even imagine that Obama may not be pro-Israel.

      Delete
    3. Wait... so some guy pops an Op-ed in the JPost and you that means:

      Yet some people say they cannot even understand where why one could even imagine that Obama may not be pro-Israel.

      Well ok then...

      No, oldschool I cannot imagine that PRESIDENT Obama is not Pro-Israel because some J-Streeter likes him. That doesn't really tell me anything.

      What tells me something is that Conservative Hero and Republican President Reagan went to Bitburg Cemetary and laid a wreath on the graves to honor fallen SS soldiers in Germany. So pardon me if I actually judge a man by his actions rather than what some doof. pens in the J Post.

      Delete
    4. It's an example. Do you take everything so literally?

      Your comparison with Reagan sounds 3rd grade. Totally different in substance. Reagan screwed up. I recall he apologized.

      Obama does not the meaning of apology. He tells people to get off their high horse or search their souls.

      Delete
    5. You recall wrong.

      In the face of criticism Reagan went ahead and did it anyway. In fact... he INSISTED on it. I remember it. Here you go: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/bitburg.html

      As for President Obama... way to recall Conservative pundits NOT the President's meaning or Context.

      But I know.. it's much more fun to make stuff up oldschool. I get that.

      Delete
    6. Once more, a dumb comparison between Reagan's blunder and Obama's veiled message concerning the UN.

      NY Times: May 6, 1985

      To the critics of his Bitburg visit Mr. Reagan offered his solemn homage to ''the human wreckage'' of Nazi concentration camps and offered an open apology for having bared the emotional scars of the Holocaust once again.

      ''Some old wounds have been reopened, and this I regret very much, because this should be a time of healing,'' the President said at an American air base at Bitburg after visiting the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and then the Bitburg cemetery. ''Many of you are worried that reconciliation means forgetting. I promise you, we will never forget.''


      http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/06/world/delicate-reagan-path.html

      Reagan also made another apology.

      LA Times: June 7, 1985

      MARLBORO, N.J. — A Jewish girl who complained that President Reagan misquoted her during his West German cemetery visit has received a letter from Reagan, who said "I humbly apologize" for a mistake he blamed on a well-meaning aide.

      Reagan admitted he misrepresented a message from 13-year-old Beth Flom in a speech after his controversial May 5 visit to the Bitburg cemetery, where 49 members of Hitler's Waffen SS are buried among 2,000 other German soldiers.

      Reagan said during the speech that Beth had supported his decision to lay a wreath at the cemetery honoring "the future of Germany." But the girl had said she made it clear in a telex she sent Reagan on April 21 that she disapproved of the visit.

      The visit especially angered Jews and veterans and prompted Reagan to add a visit to the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.


      So I did not make anything up. In fact, you yet again let your bias get in the way.

      Delete
    7. Link to the LA Times:

      http://articles.latimes.com/1985-06-07/news/mn-15984_1_visit

      Let me add, the other day you talked about "methods" to persuade people. If this is your way, by being overly argumentative, mocking and and offering these childish put downs, I think you will fail miserably.

      Delete
  8. Here you go Jeff. Here is an article I wrote at TOI when ditching J Street:

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/goodbye-j-street-you-lost-me/

    You might agree with that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got from one of your comments above that you ditched J Street, but I went ahead and read your TOI piece. I also read your BDS part I article and remembered that I had read it before. Very good writing. You lay out your cases very well.

      As for Jeremy Ben Ami and J Street, as I said above, I just never bought into it.
      I find that this is a group that couldn't persuade the Israeli electorate to see things their way. It is a subversive and underhanded organization.
      And I don't like the whole "Pro Israel, pro peace" shtick. I mean, who the fuck are they? Like Alan Dershowitz isn't pro Israel and pro peace? Like I'm not? Like you're not? Like Mike's not? Like oldschooltwentysix isn't? Like Trudy isn't? Like Jay isn't? Pitt? Like BDS is?

      Delete
    2. Thanks Jeff for the kind words.

      They talked a good game but in the end simply didn't back it up.

      Delete
  9. You're either on our side or you're not. Pick a side and go forth. "The only thing in the middle of the road is yellow lines and dead armadillos."

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have to say, this was quite a discussion with a great smattering of opinions.

    Y'know, when Jon Haber decided to back out of our conversation he said something about diminishing returns around the narcissism of small differences.

    Volleyboy1 sees a sharp divide between the American left and the American right and, thus, between Democrats and Republicans. Although he recognizes that Democrats are certainly flawed - who doesn't? - he does not see them as so flawed as worthy of abandonment in the face of a conservative ideology which he believes has ill-effects on poor people and ethnic minorities.

    In this way the conversation becomes one concerned with the core differences between left and right on the western political scene and, particularly, the American political scene.

    I want to say two things:

    The first is that the initial question was asked and answered without rebuttal.

    "How can one call themselves a Liberal and yet actively support (through voting and advocacy) "Conservative" political forces...?"

    One thing to bear in mind is the distinction between classical liberalism, which School tends to emphasize, and the generally recognized contemporary meaning of that term which I would call "rights liberalism" which emerged in the US after WWII and was embodied within the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

    My answer to the question is simply that the American left has abandoned universal human rights and, therefore, no longer represents a liberal position. There is nothing the least little bit "liberal" about the anti-Semitic anti-Zionist BDS movement that has made a home for itself within the progressive-left, in the US, Europe, Canada, or Australia.

    The other thing that I would ask you to consider is the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America:

    "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    The fundamental differences between the American left and the American right are embedded directly in the preamble to the Constitution.  Those tensions are hard-coded into American political life, which is why they have represented the defining tensions throughout American political history.

    Right-leaning Americans tend to emphasize the "blessings of liberty" while left-leaning Americans tend to emphasize promotion of "the general welfare," by which they mean the general well-being of the citizenry.

    The fights that we have are on this terrain.

    The jokers in the deck are the libertarians.Economic libertarians tend to lean right.  Social libertarians tend to lean left. I am a social libertarian. That is, I want the government out of the bedroom.

    But, within the US, the political differences across the spectrum tend to be rather narrow, rather small.

    School is correct, ultimately.

    We are a country of liberals.

    Right, Left, This, That, ultimately we are a bunch of liberals. We believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion and a free (but regulated) market.

    I would argue that the erosion of western-left, and American-left, support for Israel reflects the erosion of central liberal values, such as universal human rights, and a growing acceptance not just of authoritarian movements in other parts of the world, but the slow embrace of authoritarian-styles of politics at home, particularly on the university level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The idea of America was not just liberal, but revolutionary.

      Even today, when one looks around the world, we are a liberal state. There are really but a handful.

      But liberal does not translate into progressive, which is not American in nature. Liberal is not quantitative, but qualitative. Liberal is an open, free flowing ideology, not a closed, rigid one.

      When liberals take back their ideology from progressives, we will be better off because, unlike progressivism, liberals are much less prone to be authoritarian.

      It took awhile to discover that progressive ideology is not liberal, and by observing how things play out, the illiberal nature of progressivism becomes more apparent.

      Delete
    2. Mike...

      I have to say.. though I disagree with you on the term "liberal" (and I could be wrong here) and all of it's meanings... I really, really appreciate this post.

      This is well thought out, and very well said. Without malice, I gotta tell you that I wish all of your writings reflected this because when you do this... it is both thoughtful and insightful. AND I have to say I think you did pay attention to my position even if I don't completely agree with your interpretations on a micro level.

      Nicely done man.

      Delete
    3. "I would argue that the erosion of western-left, and American-left, support for Israel reflects the erosion of central liberal values, such as universal human rights, and a growing acceptance not just of authoritarian movements in other parts of the world, but the slow embrace of authoritarian-styles of politics at home, particularly on the university level."

      A re-stating of your main thesis which is what attracted me in the first place.
      Thanks.

      Delete
    4. School, Gordon Wood would agree with you.

      "But liberal does not translate into progressive..."

      Oh, for chrissake, man, are you trying to give Shirlee a heart attack?

      :O)

      I just say that because she has, more than once, complained to me about just what these distinctions are supposed to mean within American politics.

      "Progressive" versus "liberal" versus "left"?

      {Oh, my.}

      Actually, I would love for the Brits and Aussies to drop in on that question. Somebody give Geoff a ring, OK?

      I, for the most part, take them as synonyms. I will quibble here and there and allow for minor adjustments, or whatever, but essentially we are discussing the same people.

      No?

      What do you guys think?

      Delete
    5. America was nearly 100 before progressives arrived.

      It was based on the scientific approach to all things, particularly politics, that would bring progress. Can politics be reduce to the scientific method?

      It saw the Constitution as a relic. It is not about natural rights but social expediency of the times.

      Woodrow Wilson believed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution had outlived their usefulness—and their now outmoded truths:

      Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop. All the progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when “development,” “evolution,” is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle….

      http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-is-progress/

      There is much more to show this, but progressivism has swallowed liberalism. That does not make it liberal.

      As for how the left migrated to an anti-Israel view, "Eurabia" lays out nicely the corruption of the Europeans that commenced in the late 1960s and over time has infested the political thought of the American left.

      Delete
    6. School,

      your emphasis on ideology is warranted because it is so often unacknowledged in the general conversation.

      "progressivism has swallowed liberalism..."

      That is a very interesting idea.

      Most historians, I think that it is fair to say, would see a pretty clear ideological line going from abolitionism to progressivism and the first feminist wave, along with adjacent prohibitionism, to the New Deal, the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left of 60s and 70s, and all that that entailed, such as the anti-war movement and all the rest.

      Are you arguing, on the other hand, that Progressivism is a break-away movement from the western liberal ideal... perhaps heavily influenced by Marx and Soviet Communism?

      If that is where your thinking is taking you, I find it interesting how sqeamish the American left is to confront either the Soviets as the threat that they were or the Jihadis as the threat that they are.

      FDR was a leftist and a liberal - and however much I might resent that president for various reasons - he was willing to stand up to tyranny.

      I remain horrified at what we are seeing with these brutal maniacs in Iraq and Syria, this Islamic State.

      They just took Ramadi, only 75 miles outside of Baghdad.

      And the West does virtually nothing.

      Delete
    7. Liberalism has been there since the Enlightenment. Even without progressivism those movements would have liberal foundation.

      I think it changed when science became the locus, when the religion of secular humanism began to push away the religion of god and the belief was created that a scientific approach could solve any human problem. Institutions and technology became the engines of social change, and individual agency and spiritual development took a back seat as a means to advance humanity on earth. This was a break from the past.

      Seems to me that we have put the cart before the horse.

      Delete
    8. Oldschool's question:Can politics be reduced to the scientific method? is very good one. It can't. There is no feedback loop.

      Delete
  11. A Personal Note to Volleyboy1

    VB, in internet years, you and I have known one another... forever.

    Quite some time. As I recall, in around 2009, or thereabouts, we were friendly on dkos.

    There are two things that I do not doubt about you. Your sincerety and your intelligence.

    Although I very much prefer to keep these conversations impersonal, I will say that.

    Speaking in exceedingly broad terms, tho, I think that we have to acknowledge that much of the western and American left is turning its back on Israel.

    I often point out that 80 percent of American Jews voted for Obama in 2008, 70 percent in 2012, and recent polling has approval hovering around the 50 percent range.

    Political sands are shifting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PART I A Personal Note back to you Mike - and oldschool... please stay out of this, I really want to discuss this with just Mike. Thanks.

      See my latest response to you.

      I won't disagree with you that the Western Left (in Europe and other nations not named America) is turning it's back on Israel. BUT before you celebrate my seeming change of mind (heh), I would say that this is only in part due to anti-Semitism, and is more geared towards an "anti-colonialism" attitude where the U.S. and established powers are seen as the last vestiges (though they certainly are not) of Western Imperialism.

      As for America.. I think we have to separate between the minority on the Hard Left (the DHG's, Mizner's and DKos - though you could make a positive argument that they are not really different than the Hard or Libertarian Right). and the Center Left which spans most of the Democratic Party from Elizabeth Warren / Bernie Sanders (even though he is not technically a Democrat) to Diane Feinstein and Chuck Shumer.

      I would say in America, the DKos or Hard Left crowd has turned it's back on Israel and that they have wholly incorporated anti-Semitic meme's as well in that. AND while some (and only some) may not actually BE anti-Semitic, they are quite willing to use the anti-Semites as allies to make their points. I think many of them mirror their European counterparts in seeing this as an anti--U.S. struggle as well. When I read Daily Kos, that is the "feeling" I get. It's not empirical, it is just anecdotal but that is how I feel.

      But as for the Center Left and the Democratic Party.. No. I cannot agree. I don't believe they have turned their backs on Israel. I think they are unhappy with the Netanyahu Government and the things they are doing. But so are half of the Israeli people. And for that matter, so am I. But that doesn't mean I (or they) want Israel's enemies to succeed. If you want to say that they have turned their backs on the Israeli Right Wing version of support. Yeah. I will give you that. But, I don't view that as turning their backs on Israel. And nothing in their voting patterns reflect a "turnaway".

      And Mike, I think that is the crux of our disagreement. I think we have in the past argued over which version of Israel do we actively support. Of course, in my mind this assumes that neither one of us wants to see Israel not exist and even if one could not support their current government, I think I can safely assume that we both want Israel to exist as the National Homeland and State of the Jewish People.

      Delete
    2. Part II

      I think you rightly said above that I would not abandon the Democratic Party over disappointments with them. Why? Because I think the Republican vision of America is just that bad.

      Would I vote for President Obama again (if I could and it were legal)? Almost 100% . It depends on who ran against him. In the primaries I hope to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders, because I like him, Sen. Warren, hopefully Sen. Feingold, ex-Gov O'Malley and what I call the "Progressive Wing" of the Democratic Party. I will vote for Hillary - though she is not my first choice.

      I cannot see an alternative in the Republican Party now or on the Horizon who I could in good conscience support. Their domestic policy to me is both dangerous and not well thought out (and that is being generous). And while I actually agree with a few things they say on Foreign Policy, even there I think the Dems. are better... and please understand, that right now I think the Dems. are pretty bad.

      So, in the Jewish community, I will agree that political sands are shifting but I am not sure they are shifting in a way that is positive. I think there is a growing divide between younger and older Jewish people (and we are on the "older" end). We have the money and power right now, but don't underestimate what they are doing and what they will be doing in the future.

      Hey, maybe that is a good topic for a future discussion. How to bring the two factions within the Jewish polity together on Israel.

      Delete
    3. Response to Part 1:

      VB,

      Yes, we both clearly want Israel to continue to go forward as the National Homeland and State of the Jewish People.

      I am chuckling to myself as I write these words, because surely that is something that we both can agree upon!

      I think that it is fair to say that, on the whole, you are correct when you suggest that the American center-left and the mainstream of the Democratic Party have not turned their backs on Israel. I would not dispute that, nor would I put my disagreements in such blunt terms.

      Most Democrats and most Republicans don't care about Israel one way or the other, because they have no dog in the fight.

      What is unquestionably the case, however, is that all the polling shows American conservatives, and the Republican Party, are far more supportive of Israel than are American leftists and Democrats, who often see Israel as a western imperial encroachment onto "indigenous Arab land." You may think that American conservative or Republican Party views on the conflict are counter-productive to the well-being of Israel - and you may very well be correct - although we would need to examine those views to see what is reasonable.

      But that is not the point. The point is, by large percentages the American right feels friendlier toward the Jewish State of Israel than does the American left.

      Furthermore, while the great majority of day-to-day liberal-left American Democrats are not hostile toward Israel, we have, in my opinion, done a poor job in our advocacy on the grassroots / netroots level. The western-left is providing venues for anti-Semitic anti-Zionism of the type that we see not only within the bowels of relatively obscure places like Daily Kos, but within the heart of the European Union and the United Nations. They do so out of an alleged desire to support movements for social justice and universal human rights.

      The primary sources of delegitimization today come from the blatant and never-ending poison spouting out of the Arab-Muslim world from the mosques and "universities", but also from progressive-left western venues within the worlds of academia, media, and politics who unjustly stake themselves out upon the moral high ground.

      In order to maintain that alleged moral high ground the western-left has twisted itself into ideological knots trying to accomodate both feminism and al-Sharia, both the Jewish requirement for autonomy with the "Palestinian narrative" of perfect victimhood, with wishing to save Yazidis from the crazed friggin' lunatics of ISIS while not wishing to offend the religion of Islam.

      Delete
    4. Excellent comment.

      The cognitive dissonance helps explain why so many twisters try to shut down discussion with claims of Islamophobe, or racist, or that one falsely claims antisemitism.

      Delete
    5. Just to be clear, I did say that "much of the western and American left is turning its back on Israel."

      I would not suggest that it has as a whole.

      I would not want to overstate the fact.

      Delete
    6. Like you said, many could not find Israel on a map.

      Of those that can, I suspect they are even more likely to turn their backs.

      I recall the Democrats at their convention in 2012.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/09/05/jerusalem_and_god_get_booed_at_dem_convention.html

      Delete
    7. Mike.... please do not take this as any reflection on you.

      You know oldschool I politely asked you to please stay out of this conversation because I really wanted to have one with Mike. Just Mike and I.

      But no.. you just had to get involved. You really think I am a danger to your ideas... don't you?

      However I will NOT let this bullshit stand.

      When you say:

      I recall the Democrats at their convention in 2012.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/09/05/jerusalem_and_god_get_booed_at_dem_convention.html


      That is just nonsense and a distortion of what happened.

      I have friends that were there and here is the truth of the matter.

      A number of hard leftists on the platform committee jumped in to challenge the "Jerusalem resolution" much to the chagrin of President Obama and the Democratic Party establishment.

      When a vote is taken to adopt it needs a 2/3's majority.

      When Antonio Villaraigosa called the vote it was a close vote - listen to the tape, watch the video it sounds like about 50/50. If you watch the tape again Villaraigosa clearly under pressure from the establishment (who knew what was going to happen) calls for a second vote. It too is close...

      At that point the he was under DIRECT ORDERS FROM President Obama to make sure that the motion passed. That was clearly done. Now when Villaraigossa came back he obviously did not have a 2/3 majority of that particular session but he declared he did anyway. THAT was where the booing came in.

      I know people who were on the floor at that time and who are Pro-Israel. They were pissed and said that this session was "jumped" by activists and those booing were booing Villaraigossa. NOT the motion. Though no doubt that was added in there by some. BUT the main boos from some of the folks were due to the fact that the President WANTED that plank in there and forced through. It is all there on the tape.

      So let's get the real story straight here. The President himself and the Dem. Party establishment cared enough to put that plank in there that they broke their own rules to do it. And those were rules that were abused by the activists NOT by the mainstream establishment.

      Delete
    8. Then take it offline. I did not address a word to you.

      In any event, for you to offer such a taunt is incredibly telling. You like to talk about projection? Truth is, I am not threatened in the least by you, dear boy, and nothing I said justified your decision to make things personal. For God's sake, I did not even mention Obama! But then again, you always seem to take it to that level.

      Aside from having to protect a progressive creed that is generally anti-Israel and often antisemitic, whether or not you want to admit it, you cannot even communicate on a decent level. How sad for you.

      So important was it to explain away yet another thing, that you did not even respond to the comment to you!

      The episode (which you admit was undoubtedly the intent of some) was offered merely as an aside to corroborate the point that among activists there is a much larger anti-Israel sentiment than among the more disinterested. Yet you needed to defend Obama and the Democratic Establishment, when the comment had NOTHING to do with either. It was about the activist delegates, people who are of the "Western and American left" that was mentioned. Are you that wedded that you see yourself on the rapid response team?

      This comment would never have appeared, or probably any other, but for your disgusting show of yourself.

      Apologies to Lumish and any others for the outburst. Don't take kindly to people that continually and personally disparage, and try to stick with the issues, but this time I decided otherwise.

      Have the last word.

      Delete
    9. Mike, I truly am sorry... I would be happy to meet with you and Paul for a beer and then maybe we can have a discussion. I think a public discussion between us, would have been a benefit for others but I see that there are some who just can't handle a focused free exchange of ideas. Oh well... I really appreciate you trying and I appreciate your willingness to platform our discussion.

      Oh oldschool, I need a shovel to get through this crap.

      Truth is, I am not threatened in the least by you, dear boy....

      Apparently you are, because you feel you have to jump into it by tracking every comment I make. You ALWAYS have something to try to spin even when I say I agree with you. So please save the bullshit for someone who actually would believe it. You are afraid of my ideas. Otherwise you wouldn't have the need to respond to almost (not every but almost every) post I write.

      I asked you politely to please let that conversation be between Mike and I. You chose to ignore that. What the hell is so hard about doing that? Well we all know why now.

      One other thing oldschool - speaking of projection:

      The episode (which you admit was undoubtedly the intent of some) was offered merely as an aside to corroborate the point that among activists there is a much larger anti-Israel sentiment than among the more disinterested. Yet you needed to defend Obama and the Democratic Establishment, when the comment had NOTHING to do with either. It was about the activist delegates, people who are of the "Western and American left" that was mentioned. Are you that wedded that you see yourself on the rapid response team?

      Anytime someone even mentions "Right Wing" or "Conservative" much less "Republican" you are in their like a flash. Rationalizing bigotry or making excuses for their latest misdeeds. Every. Single. Time. Look at the comment record here. IF anyone was on a "rapid response team" that would be you, and now that you project this it is pretty obvious that you just might be.

      Don't take kindly to people that continually and personally disparage, and try to stick with the issues, but this time I decided otherwise.

      You cannot stick to an issue even if you were covered in glue. You constantly dodge questions and then respond by saying "I don't have to talk about what you want to talk about", even though you are responding to my post! Too funny.

      You won't even keep to your "Have the last word" I will bet $ 10.00 on that, though the only payment that could take place is if you actually won and then I would use that money to buy Mike a beer. BUT, I am pretty confident I win that bet.


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