Monday, July 03, 2006


The Gaza crisis and liberals

It occurs to me watching the silence on the various liberal blogs that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only subject about which liberals fear to comment.

This is not because folks do not have feelings on the issue. It is rather because those holding rightwing views on this issue still think of themselves as progressives and still populate these blogs. That is fine.

However, it is worth stating that those who can sit back and watch what is happening in Gaza without a sense of horror are applying a standard they apply to no other international situation.

As a Jew, I understand and feel the ethnic pull toward Israel. In fact, I love the place.

But I do not suspend rational thought when it comes to Israel but rather apply the same standard I apply to this country or any other. It is sickening to see progressives who denounce Bush over Iraq and everything else suddenly jump to defend Ariel Sharon or whoever is Prime Minister of Israel like he was Martin Luther King.

Supporting policies in Israel one would support nowhere else is shameful and betrays Israel's progressives to boot.

Progressives in Israel are desperate to see the current situation changed and are desperate for dialogue.

They do not mouth pieties about how there is "no Palestinian partner." They do not defend their government, right or wrong. They do not follow the AIPAC line that raionalizes away the death of innocent Palestinians.

And right now they are appalled that Israel is taking actions that not only have created a humanitarian nightmare for Palestinians but is likely to result in the death of a 19-year old soldier. These are things progressives need to discuss.

And they also need to tell the usual suspects who will jump in, Dershowitz-like, and scream "anti-semitism" to take that type of thinking to Free Republic or Lucianne.Com. Progressives think for themselves. We -- unlike the right -- do not go limp when they see the flag, ours or anybody else's.

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