Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Left and Israel

The Moose ruminates on the left's ambiguity about Israel's security.

There was once a day when the reliable friends of Israel were found on the left of the political spectrum. Those days are long gone. Yes, many liberals in Congress are strong supporters of Israel. And there is a long, proud, progressive identification with Israel going back to Truman and continued by such liberal stalwarts as Johnson, Humphrey and Scoop. However, since the 1967 war, the intellectual and activist left has increasingly identified with the Palestinians as the "underdog" and have viewed Israel as the oppressive occupiers.

As the Moose wrote recently, the myth of "occupation" is a deliberate rejection of the reality that Israel obtained this land as a result of a war of self defense and has proven willing to relinquish it to a partner for peace. Moreover, the best thing that could befall the Palestinians would be a reconciliation with the Jews that would enable them to share in Israel's technological progress and prosperity.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians have chosen the path of Jihadist extremism and reaction. Yet, the left is not appalled by that choice. Instead, the blame is primarily placed on Israel. If only Israel would only be forced to further placate those dedicated to their elimination, the argument goes, America would not have these pesky Jihadists to deal with. Todd Gitlin,

"...many nice hearts-and-minds intentions will run aground in the Muslim world as long as the U. S. colludes in the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Liberals, we've ducked this one way too long. I don't see a solution if the U. S. and Europe do not impose it."

Alas, the path of appeasement can be very inviting. Has Mr. Gitlin not heard about what transpired a few years back at Camp David when the Palestinians rejected the generous offer of land and statehood? (So much for "collusion.") The response of the Palestinians to the olive branch was suicide bombers who killed both innocents and the prospect of peace.

What would be the solution that "U.S. and Europe" would "impose". A Hamastan terror state that covers the entire West Bank, Gaza and Golan? And what about the Palestinian "law of return"? Sorry, national suicide is not an option. Maybe, at some point the lefties will stop patronizing the Palestinians and insist that they act like responsible world citizens, reject terror and live peacefully with their neighbor who is willing to accept their statehood.

Israel is now engaged in an attempt to rescue a kidnapped soldier and end aggression from a terrorist state in Gaza. Is the blogosphere left defending a state under attack from terror? Browse the left blogosphere and you will find either silence or critiques of Israel's action - or worse.

In a recent post, Steve Clemons, one of the most respected liberal bloggers, strangely contrasted the Israeli incursion into Gaza with the American response to the accidental attack on an American ship during the 1967 war. The charge of an intentional attack on the vessel has long been a favorite anti-Israel canard launched against Israel by the extremes of the right and the left. It has been thoroughly refuted and rejected by several U.S Government investigations. Yet, it was oddly resurrected by a prominent liberal blogger to tarnish Israel.

Obviously, it is thoroughly legitimate to criticize Israel's actions. Israel, as a democracy, conducts a lively political debate. And, that is the point. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Its Arab citizens have far more freedom than Arabs anywhere. One would think that progressives would stand by this progressive state.

Lefties claim they are tough on terrorism, and that Iraq is just a diversion. And they insist that Israel make accommodations to the Palestinians - which she does. But that matters little to them.

The truth is that when a democratic ally is confronted with terror, many of them flinch, equivocate and protest. All these lefties can say is that Israel should just compromise more, regardless of the consequences.

The beef of the left is not just with the war in Iraq. As is shown by their attitude toward Israel's actions of self-defense, what really galls the left is when a democratic nation takes a strong stand against radical Jihadism.

Real progressives stand with a liberal state.
-- Posted at 6:05 AM | Link to this post | Email this post