The Zionist Left

If I’ve tired of discussing Israel, it’s because I can’t seem to write a post I haven’t already written. When I saw Leonard Fein’s excellent article in Dissent explaining what it means to be a liberal Zionist, I was struck by not only the article’s objective truth, but its tragic hopelessless. If you think Israel as a Jewish state is a good thing, even if your ideal Jewish state would be downright communist, you have no place on the left. I’ve said it before, and I appear to be saying it again. Does this make the Dissent crowd Republicans? Conservatives? No, not necessarily. But it’s telling that when do-gooder Nicholas Kristof defines the bad and good Israelis (a nuanced approach), he opposes those who fight for Jews, albeit from the right, and those concerned with the Palestinians, needless to say from the left. It is inconceivable by a mainstream or marginal Western (and I do not include Israel as Western) liberal standard that a good Jewish liberal might be interested in doing good for Jews, or for Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis alike. If you are a Jewish Israeli advocating for gay rights, redistribution of wealth, and less stringent marriage and conversion laws, that is, causes that are not specifically about the Palestinians, you are invisible as far as the left anywhere but Israel is concerned.

Cross posted from What Would Phoebe Do?

1 Comment

  1. Alex

    7/18/2008 at 10:29 am

    Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that the American left did to Jews what frat boys do to sorority girls: “pumped them and dumped them”. To this day, I can not understand how American Jews can continue their liberal traditions when its fairly obvious that the majority of anti-semitism, especially in the political circuit comes from the left, including from places where Jews fee at home: Huffpo, Daily Kos, DU, NPR, etc.

    As Jews who escaped the Soviets, we are often irked just by how many rosy eyed idealists there are in America and Israel pining for the type of miserable and unjust conditions we ran from. Had some of my liberal friends lived a day in the FSU, they’d of come back to the right of Rush. I think the biggest difference between those on the right and left is that liberals want everyone to get along and be happy, where as conservatives know how unrealistic this is, and focus on their immediate well being, thus, an unwavering, unconditional support for the US and Israel. There are at least a million Jews concerned and fighting for equality and justice for our enemies who claim absolute moral authority and feign objectivity. Good, let them do that, and I’ll make sure 100% of my support is planted firmly for our camp and our people.

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