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Ten reasons the left hates Israel - five good, five bad

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:27 PM
Original message
Ten reasons the left hates Israel - five good, five bad
Edited on Sat Feb-24-07 02:50 PM by oberliner
A few thoughts engendered by the controversy over Alvin H. Rosenfeld's article "'Progressive'" Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism."

Five of the following are reasonable. Five are not.

This is a reflection, if nothing else, of the duality of leftist criticism of Israel. There are leftists whose critiques are clear-eyed, factually valid, morally on point. And then there are those for whom Israel represents a blood-boiling factory of evil, an entity whose very existence is an affront, an abomination. Those who are convinced, and seek to convince the world, that the Jewish state should cease to exist.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/829633.html

Here's #1 from each list:

Under "good":

1. Because Israel's policies are frequently marked by gratuitous humiliation of and disdain for the Palestinians.

Under "bad":

1. The Palestinian cause is inherently progressive.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's not about "hating" Israel anymore than it is about "hating" the US
Edited on Sat Feb-24-07 02:31 PM by Tom Joad
It's about policies that oppress and wars of aggression.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Bad headline
"Hate Israel" probably used as an attention getter.

Really I think "critical of Israel" would've been a better choice.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. But that is the thing they want to hide behind....
Just like Cheney would like to hide behind the troops and "america" to justify crimes against humanity, Israel's policy makers and their apologists like to equate rejection of oppressive policies as an attack on Israelies, or even Jewish people in general.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. But hate and criticism are the same thing!
Rather remarkable to see the absolutist, theologic politics of the Bush administration and the American right exported to Isreal--or, wait, was it the other way around?

Anyway, to accuse one's critics of hate is a great way to avoid delivering a response to their criticism, especially if you know they are right.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. One can dispute, and even hate, the POLICIES of a party in Israel, yet not HATE Israel
Really vexes me to be charged with 'hating Israel' for not supporting the RW hawks in charge of late.

If we can love America while justifiably hating the neocons, we can be critical of current Israeli leadership and policy while still supporting the state and people of Israel. But I have witnessed a lot of personal attacks & charges of anti-semitism here on DU for posters who do not like Likud.

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Likud is not in power
For what that is worth.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. The difference between Likud and Kadima is meaningless.
And Kadima's ludicrous "unilateral disengagement" was a deliberate gesture of contempt for the very idea of peace. Olmert knew Palestinians could never accept that approach, and that an approach Palestinians couldn't accept could never lead to peace. So why did he even present it, and present it with his usual jut-jawed comtempt for the human race?

Olmert did so because, in his heart, he HASN'T given up on the idea of forever preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state. Those who voted Kadima still hold to the insane idea that Israel has the right to ask for peace even if it succeeds in preventing a Palestinian state. They are nothing but Likud with a slightly human face.

They represent the values of the Israeli hard right, a section of the Israeli political spectrum that knows it can only win significant numbers of votes if if preserves the mythical "threat to Israel's very survival". They would rather preserve eternal conflict than lose elections to parties with humane values.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Does seem like policy has remained pretty much the same, doesn't it?
Haven't felt optimistic about things there since 2000 and Sharon's visit to the wall. Knew it was gonna incite problems, problems which would justify extreme response. MIHOP Mideast style.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. I haven't. I've witnessed way more
pre-emptive wails of "I'll be called an anti-semite if I criticize Israel", then charges of anti-semitism for criticizing Israel. And sorry, I've seen plenty of anti-semitism, here, at kos, and at My Left Wing. And I ain't talking about criticism of Israel, or the belief that Israel shouldn't exist, or a one state solution.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. There's a reason for that. They go to another forum, link our threads and make their attacks there.
Edited on Sat Feb-24-07 03:50 PM by breakaleg
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I had that experience myself.
An exchange I had here with "pro-Israel" posters was quoted out of context on another forum for the purposes of demonizing me.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. It's happened to me as well...
Not only there, but there have been times that accusation has been thrown at me here at DU even though my criticism of Israel is legitimate, specific, and only concerns the occupation. Those who throw that accusation around and their defenders use the fact that such accusations are deleted to argue that they never happened, as I found out when I once pointed out to a poster in this forum that I had indeed been accused of antisemitism here at DU...
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. What the hell does criticism of Israel, or...
hatred of Israel, or anti-Semitism, or love of Israel, or anything else, have to do with "left" or "right"?

The biggest Israel-haters I can think of are most assuredly not of the "left." And they're not here.

OK, so some of our "leftists" seem to think that Castro and Chavez can do no wrong while the US and Israel can do no right, but they're not exactly running the show.

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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Progressives seems to be critical of Israel from a different angle
then those on the right.

Just like the left is critical of Bush in a different way than certain right-wingers are (i.e. Pat Buchanan)
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. And Americans are critical in ways that differ from Europeans
I really take this to be a critique of the European left, more so than the American left. The author has sloppily created a universal, worldwide monolithic "left," but his comments are not sensible at all when applied to the left in the United states--either that, or his understanding of the left in the US is so slight that we should not take him seriously on the subject.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. Who the heck is "the left?"
Seriously, what about leftists who are Jews? What about those on the left who find things to admire about Isreal? What about those on the left who find things to admire about Isreal, while simultaneously recognizing serious injustice in its conduct towards the Palestinans, while maintaining no illusions about the inherent goodness of either the PLO, Hamas or any of their leaders? Is there any difference between "the left" in Europe (where I think some of the author's charges of antisemitism may be remotely plausible) and "the left" in the states (where any charges of antisemitism are simply laughable)? Some of his other claims are similarly laughable. I hear much more in re the atrocities in Darfur in the press than anything Isreal does to the Palestinians.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. The only charge of "anti-semitism" by the author is against those who compare Israel to Nazi Germany
Edited on Sat Feb-24-07 02:54 PM by oberliner
Do you think there is some basis in that assesment?
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. There's also reason number 3
i.e., "Israel is a Jewish state." I took that to be an allegation of antisemitism imputed by the author toward those who make it. (It may be a critique of some anti-zionist leftists or some other people who may reject any ethnic or religious foundations for any and all states, but I don't see such folks as having much influence anyway.)

Again, there's a lot here that's simply unsupported by the facts. I do see the left in America losing a lot more sleep over the fate of the victims in Darfur today than over the Palestinians, for what it's worth. Of course, that sort of "equal time argument," i.e., that you cannot have an opinion about an injustice somewhere without caring equally deeply about all such injustices everywhere, is bogus.

I object most strongly to the framing of the issue. What the author has done is to turn away from the real problems facing Israel (and, by extension, its #1 ally, the US) and turn toward the question of "why the left hates Israel," in exactly the same way the right has turned the universal failure of the Bush administration's policies into a debate on the question of why the left hates America, Christmas, etc.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
11. Desiring the destruction of a nation is "progressive?"
Well, finally someone defines that frighteningly vague term for me.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. It is not about hating Israel as much as it being tired of fighting their fight
It is the fact that our government supports Israel no matter what they do.
They are people and have as much right to live on any piece of ground as anyone else. It just should not be carte blanc to do what ever they please and we will be there to support them.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
17. The left DOESN'T "Hate Israel" It expresses legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government
Edited on Sat Feb-24-07 03:40 PM by Ken Burch
and shows, perhaps, resentment at the continuing attempts by apologists for the Israeli hard right to use emotional blackmail over past antisemitism to try to force the world to give Israeli policies unquestioning support.

And some of us, who are also critical of some Palestinian actions(and are branded as "Zionist apologists" ourselves for expressing the criticisms) are critical of Israeli government policies because we believe those policies endanger Jews, both by putting Israeli Jews in physical danger as a result of governmental intransigence and mistreatment of Palestinians and by inadvertently encouraging terrorism in other countries. We believe that the most secure Israel would be a progressive Israel with humane values and policies, an Israel that accepts the reality that a Palestinian state in ALL of the West Bank and Gaza is just as legitimate as their own state and that Israeli Arabs must be freed of the increasing discrimination and hatred they face within Israel proper. The addiction of various Israeli governments to "creating facts on the ground" must be broken and broken now.

If there is anger within Israeli society towards the world, it should be directed towards those who refused to take in the Jewish refugees in the 1930's and are now trying to buy their way out of this shame by encouraging this state to endanger Jews through its own recklessness, not towards those of us who are the political descendants of the people who resisted fascism and Naziism in the Thirties and who did everything they could to prevent the rise of Hitler and the success of the Shoah.

It's the Establishment that's the enemy of Jews, not the left.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Sorry, I've seen plenty of folks on the left express hatred
of Israel, whether it's in my own little peace and justice group or on DU or kos or My Left Wing, or other Progressive Independent. That is not anti-semitism. Alas, I've seen plenty of that on the left too. It's just absurd to assume that the left is so pure it doesn't have its bigots.

And your last paraqraph is just ridiculous. You can't tell people in a nation you don't even know who it's appropriate to be angry at. And that's aside from the fact that you don't KNOW who they're angry at.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-24-07 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Some people on the left, perhaps...but it is totally unfair to say "The Left Hates Israel"
There are Israeli leftists who don't, obviously. There are many if not most people who are critical of Israeli policy who don't.

The Left doesn't have an official unified stance that "Israel is evil and deserves our undying hatred".

And what you don't seem to get, cali, is that throwing out broad statements like that is a way to pressure people into silencing all criticism or commentary about Israeli policy in order to prove that they "don't hate" Israel.

It's about emotional blackmail as a political tactic. The responsibility for historic antisemitism lies with the Right. The Left has mainly worked to fight it. And those in U.S. politics today who make the biggest show of being "pro-Israel"(especially if they are on the Right or the Center)are the ones who, had then been alive in the Thirties, would have been leading the fight to keep Jewish refugees from being admitted to the U.S. and would have been appeasing Hitler.

It's simple. There is no reason to demonize the Left for its comments about Israeli policy. We weren't the bad guys when it mattered, and we're not the bad guys now.

And the point of my last paragraph was simply to say "fight the REAL enemy". And the real enemy is greed, capitalism and conservatism. NOT the left.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 04:21 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. I didn't throw out a broad statement- you managed that
and as someone who broadly criticizes Israel, and agrees with Carter that Israeli policies in the WB have created functional apartheid, and who sees the conditions in Gaza as largely created by the Israelis, your shit about how I'm trying to use emotional blackmail to silence critics of Israel is just that- shit.

I simply said, in response to your denial that hatred of Israel exists on the left, that I've seen plenty of it. I don't even conflate that sentiment with anti-semitism, but yeah, I've seen that on the left as well.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 04:29 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Saying "The Left hates Israel" is both a broad statement and hyperbole...
The poster yr replying to pointed out that while some Leftists do hate Israel, that in no way means the Left hates Israel. How on earth does that get translated into a claim that the poster said that hatred of Israel doesn't exist on the Left?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. Violet, violet, violet
I never said that the left hates Israel. I said I've seen plenty of hate directed at Israel from the left. There's a difference.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Cali, Cali, Cali...
I never said that you said the left hates Israel. I was referring to the OP saying it. What I was saying was that you replied to the poster who'd said that some on the left do hate Israel with this comment: 'in response to your denial that hatred of Israel exists on the left'.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Well seeing as how I wasn't imitating you, they can say it all they like...
I quoted what the poster said in the post you replied to, and that wasn't it....

btw, my name is Violet, not Violetta...
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. Let me try this again:
Edited on Sun Feb-25-07 07:32 AM by Ken Burch
"It is unfair to say that 'The Left' as a unified entity hates Israel. There are those on the left, and I maintain they are a loud minority, who "Hate Israel" and a tinier and louder minority of these(and I'd question whether they are truly on "the Left" in any sense that I personally would recognize "the Left") who are in fact actual antisemites. But "the left" as a group is not Zionophobic nor antisemitic. In the main, what "the Left" does is simply to offer deeply felt and fully valid criticism of Israeli policy, criticism that is perfectly legitimate to express, since the Israeli government is made up of mortal fallible human beings like any the leaders of any other state."

Don't you dare take my last post to mean anything MORE than that, Cali. I was not admitting that the OP had it right.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. Calm down. We seem to be speaking past one another.
I agree with you that it's a minority of the left who express hatred of Israelis, though I'd argue with you that some of them aren't really members of the left. Nothing I said indicated that I took anything you said as agreement with the article posted. I don't for a minute think that. You're misinterpreting what I'm saying. But whatever.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. I didn't say that YOU use emotional blackmail...I meant the hard-line "pro-Israel" types
And what I was saying was that it was unfair to say that "the Left" as a unified entity(not that we've ever managed to be anything like unified)"hates Israel".

Some people on "the Left" do, but no more than some on the right and some in "the center" do. So the premise of the Haaretz article, that "the Left hates Israel" is a sweeping overgeneralization at best and a lie at worst.

Does that clarify my meaning?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-25-07 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. Yes, thanks.
And the title of the piece was inflamatory. I'm glad that you don't hold by your blanket statement:

"The left DOESN'T "Hate Israel" It expresses legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government".

Not all of the critics aligned with the left as regards Israel, are free from hate.
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