Thursday, May 22, 2008

Anti-Semitic Extremism and the Democratic Party Base

Anit-Israel Protest

As regular readers will recall, I recently denounced Daily Kos for the publication last week of an extremely anti-Semitic post, "Eulogy before the Inevitability of Self-Destruction: The Decline and Death of Israel."

If you check
the link, the post is still available, despite deep criticisms by top conservative blogs (here and here, for example).

the entry, I asked, "Is this the future of the Democratic Party, announcing the inevitable destruction of the state of Israel?"

But for this one commenter went so far as to say that my attention to the issue shows just as much culpability in sponsoring anti-Jewish hatred as Markos Moulitisas. That's to be expected. I get extremists from the left and the right, and they never denounce the hatred, they never denounce the Muslim calls to wipe Israel to the sea, they never denounce the left-wing cheering at the illness or death of conservatives, and they never denounce the radical alliance between Islam and socialism, which has applauded (if not abetted) the killing of American soldiers in Iraq.

But I want to be out front here in my position: I unequivocally repudiate anti-Semitism, as well as extremist attacks on political opponents. For, example,
I pledged earlier today, to "denounce" right-wing extremists just as forcefully as I do the left.

I'll do that right here:
In a post Tuesday, Michelle Makin asked:

Put aside your political differences and join me in keeping Sen. Ted Kennedy and his family in your prayers as they grapple with the news of his malignant brain tumor diagnosis.
Unfortunately, some of her commenters were not able to do that:

I just dont feel an ounce of sympathy for this man.

Even if I belived [sic] in something to pray to, I’m not sure i could muster the energy to do so. Perhaps that makes me a monster, but…so be it.

I just cant do it. Sorry.


When Ted crosses over, I’m sure he will be welcomed by the millions of Cambodians, Laotians, and Vietnamese who died because of his wretched policies. He has been the worse Senator of the 20th century and perhaps the most destructive political force in the history of the country.


Sorry I cannot summon any sympathy for the author of the 1965 destructive ‘immigration bill’ that he last year tried to top with an even more destructive ’scamnesty’ bill. He has done more damage to the USA than any other 10 senators put together. So, upon his demise, we are holding an exuberant ‘Irish wake’. Can hardly wait!!

There are more comments like this at the post (note that these are a small minority in the thread).

I most categorically forcefully, and indisputably reject these views (check also Little Green Footballs for some media hypocrisy on "policing" hate comments, "
The Beam in Howard Kurtz's Eye").

But to continue with the problem of modern far-left anti-Semitism, in my earlier post, I suggested that by sponsoring extreme Israel-bashing diarists Markos Moulitsas himself endorses anti-Jewish hatred. Further, and more importantly, because
Kos claims that his movement represents the mainstream of the Democratic Party, it's not unreasonable to ask: What explains the shift among the grassroots of the Democratic Party toward annihilationist anti-Semitism? How pronounced a trend is this?

Apparently, this is a very serious problem for the Democratic Party. As
this story from the American Thinker notes:

Developments in the Democratic Party bode ill for the Jewish people and for the state of Israel — home of up to 40% of the world's remaining Jewish population. The rank and file of the Party has become increasingly anti—Semitic and support for Israel has noticeably fallen....

Democratic Congressmen have reflected this trend in very visible ways: their votes and actions in Congress reveal that support for Israel has eroded in alarming ways. Furthermore, more than a few Democratic Congressman have openly made statements that are either clearly anti—Semitic or can be fairly construed to be at least, 'anti—Semitic in effect, if not intent'.

These disconcerting trends can be observed by a bottom—up approach: looking at the grassroots base of the Democratic Party, how these views are expressed in Congress, and how the Democratic leadership has responded to these developments.
As the American Thinker piece points out, Democratic officials are responding to the intense views of the party's nihilist radical netroots base.

Cinnamon Stillwell, in her reflections on
the post-9/11 radical movement, notes what the anti-Jewish views she sees commonly when counter-protesting the "progressive" movement:

I put myself on the front lines of this ideological battle by taking part in counterprotests at the antiwar rallies leading up to the war in Iraq. This turned out to be a further wake-up call, because it was there that I encountered more intolerance than ever before in my life. Holding pro-Iraq-liberation signs and American flags, I was spat on, called names, intimidated, threatened, attacked, cursed and, on a good day, simply argued with. It was clear that any deviation from the prevailing leftist groupthink of the Bay Area was considered a threat to be eliminated as quickly as possible.

It was at such protests that I also had my first real brushes with anti-Semitism. The anti-Israel sentiment on the left -- inexorably linked to anti-Americanism -- ran high at these events and boiled over into Jew hatred on more than one occasion. The pro-Palestinian sympathies of the left had led to a bizarre commingling of pacifism, Communism and Arab nationalism. So it was not uncommon to see kaffiyeh-clad college students chanting Hamas slogans, graying hippies wearing "Intifada" T-shirts, Che Guevera backpacks, and signs equating Zionism with Nazism, all against a backdrop of peace, patchouli and tie-dye.

Being unapologetically pro-Israel, I was called every name in the book, from "Zionist pig" to "Zionist scum," and was once told that those with European origins such as myself couldn't really be Jewish.
It is thus not surprising that Barack Obama, with his huge base of support among neo-progressive activists and radical organizations, as well as his questionable ties to prominent anti-Semitic leaders on the left, is struggling to build support among some main-line American Jewish organizations.

To be fair, note that the editors at Daily Kos have periodically
spoken out against the rampant holocaust denial and exterminationist anti-Semitism commentary at the blog, among both the diarists and the commenters.

Nevertheless the hate continues at Kos, as well as
at other high-profile blogs on the hard-left.

Daily Kos should should take down
its endorsement of the death of Israel. Basic decency demands nothing less.

See also:

* Atlas Shrugs, "Democrats: The New Anti-Semitism."

* Alan Dershowitz, "
When Legit Criticism Crosses the Anti-Semitism Line."

* Craid Horowitz, "The Return of Anti-Semitism."

* Seattle Times, "
The Democratic Party's Anti-Semitism Problem."

* Wall Street Journal, "
Democratic Hold on Jewish Vote Could Slip."