A Jew who posts on Daily Kos has realized the forum is brimming with people who are willfully, obstinately ignorant of his vital concerns. Eyal Rosenberg begins his reasons for leaving DKos thus:
Reading these past months on dkos has led me to believe that people here, under the "progressive" banner, support views that end up in one place: Me dead.
He points out the hypocrisy involved:
Barely a word for Darfur - Israel has been in a diary on dkos over 5000 times in the past year, Darfur less then 1000. How many thousands continue to be killed there by Muslims? If I did not know better I would think that on dkos bashing Israel was more important than saving lives. But what has gone in Sudan? Only 2 million dead versus the circa 7 thousand in the I/P conflict in the same period.
And, near the close of the diary, he voices the exact feeling I felt a few years ago, when I watched with consternation as my interest-group, an environmental activism forum, heaped vitriol on Israel with insane passion:
That is why I am upset. People here are advancing ideology that leads directly to Israel being destroyed as a Jewish and democratic, and me dying - since the two are one and the same. […]
I came to this site with Leftist Zionist Environmentalist Pro-Peace ideology (Meretz style).
I leave it with a heavy doubt of the entire "Progressive" ideology, morals and goals.
I don’t think, and more importantly, I don’t even wish it to happen, that Eyal is turning right-wing. As I said myself, in September last year, it was with no happiness that I abandoned the Left. I still have a soft spot for a lot of its ideas and goals, and the main reason I’ve left it is that it has long turned its back on those same ideas and goals (or, as Ronald Reagan said, “I never left the Democratic Party, the Party left me”).
No, I commend Eyal’s move not as a change of political orientation, but as a fulfillment, whether he is aware of it or not, of G-d’s mitzvah, “Therefore choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). He has acknowledged the issue, and seen beyond all the high-sounding words, and come to the realization that, to quote one of the pro-Israel counter-protest signs, “Free Palestine” is code for “Kill the Jews”, even if some are sincere in believing it is possible to be pro-Israel and pro-“Palestine” at the same time—the truth need not agree with our feelings.
Are all the Daily Kos Israel-bashers anti-Semitic? I can’t determine that. It’s an internal matter, and what’s more important, my religious Jewish view has it that Jew-hatred does not come inwardly from the person, but is inspired on him outwardly by G-d, for Jew-hatred is His institution for the purpose of keeping His people close to Him and praying for His help and deliverance and salvation. Because G-d works through natural means, the anti-Israel rhetoric on Daily Kos and other Leftist sites has such a well-meaning ring to it. So much so that many Jews do not pause to think as Eyal Rosenberg did, and keep lending their hand to that ill-ending cause.
They say it’s just criticism of Israel’s policies. They say it’s about empathy, about caring for the oppressed and the downtrodden. And from those points, they delve into a multitude of particulars (the “Apartheid Wall”, the Jewish Law of Return, the “ethnic cleansing of 1947–9”, the “persecution of Azmi Bisharah”, and so on). And I call rubbish on all those particulars, and tell you what the two underlying generalities driving them are:
- The opinion that this land is stolen—that it does not belong to the Jews.
- The belief that this conflict fuels the hatred of the Arab and Islamic worlds, therefore its defusion is necessary in order to bring us back to at least pre-9/11 levels of tranquility.
There are really no other issues than those. All the particulars stem from those two generalities. Both are erroneous, and the second is selfish as well—selfish as in, “Giving the lie to the statements about caring for the oppressed and the downtrodden”.
The first generality means we are not on this land by right. It means we are thieves, with all that that status entails. People would agree that the blood of the thief who breaks into someone’s house is free for the taking; therefore, if the entirety of the Jewish population is on “Palestine” wrongly and not rightly, it follows that their blood is free for the taking (G-d forbid). Oh no, I’m not suggesting the “Progressives” actually call for spilling Israeli Jewish blood—no, that’s inhumane; instead, they “only” show understanding and sympathy (“What do you expect after brutally occupying the natives for nearly 60 years?”) when the “Palestinians” do just that.
There is no other root issue than this: the question whether this land is stolen or not. Rashi, through G-d’s direction, nailed it down nearly a thousand years ago, and in his commentary for Genesis 1:1 no less: that the nations will say to us, “Ye are robbers”. This accusation is without any qualifier: not a particular piece of the Land of Israel, not a limited space taken at some period (like 1967), but everything.
On this note, it is worthy to mention that even their worship of the United Nations is dampened by their passion for the accusation of us as thieves. If you say, “The British provided for this land as our homeland beginning with the Balfour Declaration of 1917”, they will reply, “The British colonials had no right to promise the land of a nation to another”. That is not surprising. But the reaction is similar if you say, “The UN partitioned the land between Jews and Arabs in 1947”; here too I have seen, more than once, more than twice, a response on the lines of, “The UN had no right to take any part of this land away from its indigenous inhabitants and give it to another nation”. So powerful is this passion for the accusation, “Ye are robbers” that even the UN, that shining light of all Progressive values, is not exempted from criticism.
It is about moral right, even though that sounds so “primitive”, so far removed from reality-based discussion. The answer to the question whether we Jews have stolen this land or inhabit it by right colors the entire view of this conflict. If we have stolen it, then the accusations of racism, apartheid, oppression, brutality and imperialism inevitably follow; if we are on this land by right, then support for us, for our democratic, Western state, for our material achievements, for our spiritual fortitude in the face of all adversity and for our standing at the forefront of the war against Islamic imperialism inevitably follow. I have seen this correlation far too many times to regard it as a coincidence. The question of moral right is the root, the only substantial matter, and all the rest are just by-products. Tackle the question of moral right and all the other issues will fall into place like dominoes.
The second generality is the erroneous belief that this conflict is at the core of, or is the principal fuel for, the clash of cultures now taking place in the world—the misnamed “War on Terror” (should be, “War against Islam”). It is that old sentiment, “How horrible, fantastic it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing” (Neville Chamberlain in 1938, not on Israel, which didn’t exist yet).
One could say, “And if so, so what? What’s wrong about self-interest?” In their own self-interest, Israeli Jews have the right to resist being sacrificed for an unproved (and that’s being very charitable—“disproved” would be more like it) idea of bringing world peace. And, as I said, it belies the many statements that this is all about empathy and support for the underdog. Eyal has observed well: over 5,000 Daily Kos diaries a year about Israel and less than 1,000 about Darfur, given more than 2,000,000 dead in Sudan as against about 7,000 here in about the same extent of time, does not bear good witness of empathy and support for the underdog. Only the belief, the untested, uncritically accepted, unchallenged belief, that the Israel/“Palestine” conflict fuels the hatred of the Arabs and Muslims can explain the passion for this topic.
I don’t know where Eyal’s journey (his “heavy doubt of the entire ‘Progressive’ ideology, morals and goals”) will lead. Again, I cannot praise him enough for seeing the truth behind the façade; but my post goes beyond congratulations, and into suggestions as to the way forward. In counterpoint to the two generalities that underpin the anti-Israel line, here are what I can call the two general arguments of resurgent Zionism (or “post-post-Zionism”):
- None of this land is stolen; all belongs to the Jews by right.
- The global threat of Islamic imperialism was not caused by Israel; rather, Israel was just the first to suffer from it in modern times.
From there, Eyal, Resurgent Zionist, I recommend you go. HaShem be your helper!
Raise the flag! From the Salute to Israel Parade in New York, May 2007, taken by Urban Infidel.