The Left wing blogs and Israel

I started a series of posts aimed at examining what the Left side of the blogosphere had to say about what I think is one of the biggest stories of our day: Israel’s major military initiative against Hezbollah. What I discovered, and why I’ve sort of dried up on checking out those blogs, is that they have absolutely nothing to say on the subject — and Dean Barnett explains why. Barnett starts with a discussion about the Jews’ reliable support for the Democratic party, which has Democratic political leaders careful, in public at least, to support Israel. That’s the “one hand.” The other hand is the Daily Kos community. Barnett explains what this community is, what drives its thinking, and how it has responded to the Israel/Hezbollah War, both on the front page and behind the scenes. I’m going to include a fairly long quotation here, but the article has lots more, and I think it’s well worth reading:

On the other hand, there is the Daily Kos community. As proprietor Markos Moulitsas frequently notes, the Kos community is representative of the “people-powered movement.” They are not led by one person; indeed, they are not led at all.

The miracle of the Kossacks is that they are tens of thousands of like-minded people who have used the site to find one another. Although they differ on many details, they tend to monolithically detest George W. Bush and American conservatives. They also tend to distrust or loathe anything or anyone that winds up in Bush’s literal or metaphorical embrace. Like Joe Lieberman. Or Israel.

THE CONFLAGRATION in Lebanon has provided an example of the people-powered movement’s potential to be a liability for the politicians who have tried to curry favor with it.

Perhaps sensing that this issue could highlight just how far removed the Kos community is from the American mainstream, Moulitsas and his other front-page bloggers have opted to ignore Israel’s war. Combined, the half dozen front-pagers have written exactly one post on the subject. And that post, authored by Moulitsas, simply declared that he wouldn’t write anything further on the subject. So while the most important story of the year develops, the nation’s leading progressive blog has chosen to focus on the Indiana second district House race between Chris Chocola and Joe Donnelly. Nothing wrong with that; it’s their prerogative to blog about whatever they like.

But inside the Kos diaries, it’s been a different story. The conversation in the diaries has been overwhelmingly anti-Israel–and potentially disastrous for the Democratic party.

Barnett then follows up by simply quoting from the diaries, a stomach churning journey into old-fashioned Jew-hatred.

Right now, those Democratic politicians who wish to maintain their reliable Jewish base have only two forms of protection. The first is the fact that a large portion of Jewish voters are probably completely unaware of this sewer swirling at the Democrats’ feet. The second is the double think leaders on the Jewish left are currently using to insulate themselves from the hatred against them welling up on their side of the political spectrum. The most perfect, latest, and loudest example of this comes from Sheldon Drobny, who founded Air America, the Left’s “answer” to Rush [hat tip: American Thinker]:

I came to the conclusion that the hostile comments about Israel on these liberal blogs are not coming from true liberals. Most of the anti-Semitism comes from racism and most of the racism I have experienced has come from the far right, not the left. And history shows that the Christo-fascist policies of the right have been responsible for historical anti-Judaism. It is only lately that the extreme evangelical groups have conveniently aligned with Israel now to validate their biblical beliefs. These extreme evangelicals were the most anti-Jewish because of the Passion Narratives of the New Testament. And for my friends in AIPAC, they should be aware that short-term alliances with people who have endemic hatred of you could be disastrous. The early Zionists found this out when they signed a trade agreement with Germany hoping that Germany would deport the Jews to Palestine.

To those who believe that Palestine historically belonged to either the Jews or the Arabs I say read my previous post. Palestine and Iraq were all part of the Ottoman Empire and were made up countries by decree. After the First World War, the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire gave us artificial countries such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia and neither country exists today. Iraq is still a horrible remnant of artificial combinations of disparate ethnic regions. The fact is that the U.N. as did the League of Nations before set up countries by decree without much foresight and washed their hands of the consequences. Had the U.N. been responsible in 1948, they had the power to make a difference in that region. Unfortunately, they did not.

I have no easy solutions for the Israel/Palestine issue but I will say that one must evaluate which of the combatants benefit from the conflict. And I can easily exclude Israel from that group. After Israel signed the Oslo Accords in 1993 it experienced its greatest economic and technological advancement. Whether or not Israel was wise in rejecting the 2000 proposal that was advanced by Arafat at Camp David is subject to historical evaluation. But, Israel has suffered economically since the last intifada and has no benefit to its people by having perpetual war. On the other hand, the militant Arab leaders have a lot to gain by perpetual war with Israel to divert their people’s attention from the harsh treatment of their own citizens. And the armaments industries in the nations comprising the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council have lots of reasons to fuel the fires. I suggest seeing the motion picture Lord of War with Nicholas Cage if anyone has any doubts.

So my conclusion is that the bloggers who violently hate Israel and see it in black and white terms are not really liberals. They may even be anti-Semites, but they are not representative of the liberal community that was so active in achieving racial and ethnic equality. It is a contradiction for a true liberal to be an anti-Semite. Furthermore, I would not put it past the right wing to flood the liberal blogs with hateful criticisms of Israel to advance a perception that liberals are anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. And I see Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over this.

If you wade through this convoluted argument, you discover that Drobny simply can’t believe that the Left, which has always been anti-Semitic and anti-Israel (witness, for example, the National Socialist Movement, aka the Nazis; the Russian Communists; and Hugh Chavez, who is probably not Rove’s puppet), is actually — gasp! — anti-Israel. And since this historical truism can’t be true, it must be Rove’s fault (or it’s fluoride in the water — one or the other). As Charles Thompson, of Little Green Footballs, said to Dennis Prager when discussing Drobny’s bizarre conclusion, this is serious “cognitive dissonance.” Thinking about it, Thompson is being kind. It’s delusional thinking, pure and simple, and in another age would have landed Drobny in an asylum, walking around with the other crazy Napoleon and Elvis wannabees.

UPDATE:  Dennis Prager is speaking to Sheldon Drobny even as we speak.  Drobny, aside from suffering from severe verbal diarrhea, is woefully ill-informed.  His statements about Evangelical Christians rely solely on canards and have nothing to do with reality.  It’s amazing that someone so narrow-minded and unaware of the reality of the world — as opposed to his imaginary world construct — can have carved himself such a prominent niche.

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