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Harold Ford, for shame! To pull the anti-Semitism card on this site is height -- make that the depths -- of FOXian cheap shots, and oh so wrong.

I have been a passionate kossak for years now. As a fiercely pro-Israel Jew AND lifelong LibDem, I cannot deny I have seen some anti-Israel screed here, mostly in the comment threads and occasionally in certain diaries. But I understand, as does Markos, that this is an ENORMOUS community, one that brings in the widest possible spectrum of views. I also understand that the left wing of American polity will include some voices staunchly critical of Israel, and on occasion those voices cross a line that I would call anti-Semitic.

The thing is, THEY ARE EXTREMELY RARE, and are almost always troll-rated here. AND THAT'S THE KEY, Mr. Ford. Those "anti-Jewish" voices, as you called them (an absurd misnomer, since NO ONE here is anti-Jewish), are uniformly shouted down. Keith Moon, I'm talking to you! So Ford's entire premise is bogus, a falsity within a falsehood.

But you guys already knew all that!

Rock on, Markos!

Originally posted to I Hate Republicans on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:56 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My views on Israel waver (6+ / 0-)

    I feel like untold uninjustices have been subjected to the Palestinian people.  Millions of people living in such a small area, conditions, repression by the Israeli military are impossible to ignore.  But two wrongs don't make a right, and a fair political solution that will bring justice to all in the region, Jew and Muslim alike is what is needed.

    •  pro isreal isn't pro-right-wing government (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      baad, zemblan, nklein

      It's not your views on Israel that waver, probably, just your views on those in power.  It's a strange democracy, very democratic, but maybe too many political parties, making for too many accommodations with fringe groups to form a government, and so the compromises aren't in the long-term favor of the nation, but only in short-term pandering to power.  There needs to be a constitution over there, the nation hasn't quite finished writing itself.  One gets to say things like this here without being called names. Cool.  

      •  Not really a right-wing govt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Doughnutman, zemblan

        I mean, this government was elected on a clear mandate to begin unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank as a continuation of Gaza.  

        Then, of course, they were attacked on 2 borders, Peretz was the worst defense minister in recent history with Olmert as one of the worst PMs, so they bungled stuff and have no confidence now.  So now his government consists of paying off the fringe parties consistently enough to hold a majority together.

        At least Peretz is gone, Barak is in and hopefully he'll take over the PM chair within a year or so.

        •  Israel (0+ / 0-)

          unfortunately, Israel does not have a franchise on terrible, weak, incompetent leaders. Even our Bush, who is arguably worse, has no such lock on idiocy. I think Gordon Brown seems like an adult.  These times are not good.  Poor leadership abounds.  good luck in your hoped for improvement.  

  •  Yes, but what we really want to know... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arturo52, GoldnI

    Are you willing to accept Jebus as your personal saviour?



    "Impeach the Cheerleader, save the world!"

    by deepfish on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:04:59 PM PDT

  •  Why is Israel the business of Americans? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am neither pro- nor anti-Israel.  Its existence as a state is a matter of total indifference to me as an American.  I would be more than happy to welcome the Israeli population here as immigrants but I don't see Israel's conflicts with its neighbors as an American national interest.

    I worry about people who agree with me; I know why I'm this way, but I have to wonder about what's wrong with them

    by George Gould on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:05:37 PM PDT

    •  Israel as aircraft carrier - Eisenhower. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      baad, boran2, paxmonger, george neville

      Always explained a lot to me.

      To protect the oil.

      Sometimes the tail wags the dog.

      Sometimes the tiger rides YOU.

      Accountability: the ultimate Progressive Value...

      by ormondotvos on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:39:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ever heard of AIPAC? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paxmonger, george neville

      Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin Survivor Left Blogistan

      by boran2 on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:55:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, some of their neighbors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric S

      would much rather that Israel's population did in fact wind up here as immigrants.  These people are cousins to the people whom our economy depends on for oil as well as the people who are trying to attack our interests around the world.  So we're naturally going to show some interest.

      Beyond that, we have a tendency to support fellow democracies in conflicts around the world, left over from the cold war I guess.

    •  What interest... (0+ / 0-) we have in protecting Taiwan from the PRC?

      Or what interest do we have in protecting South Korea from North Korea?

      •  None whatsoever that I can see (0+ / 0-)

        but you didn't answer my question.

        I worry about people who agree with me; I know why I'm this way, but I have to wonder about what's wrong with them

        by George Gould on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 06:38:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He did answer your question, (0+ / 0-)

          in all of those cases, the Taiwan/PRC thing partially excluded because of China's semi-liberalization over the last 10 years, we are faced with scenarios where we can choose between defending a free-market democracy or leaving them to fight their own battles.

          World the way it is now, it actually is worth our while to defend fellow traveller nations just for the future global GDP gains.  Besides that, there's an inherent right in helping fellow democracies.

          •  I'm sorry but he did not answer my question (0+ / 0-)

            which was "Why is Israel an interest of the United States?"  I see no more reason to support Israel than I do to support the other two, which is absolutely none.

            I agree with the statement that we are the friends of liberty everywhere, but guarantors only of our own.

            I worry about people who agree with me; I know why I'm this way, but I have to wonder about what's wrong with them

            by George Gould on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 10:01:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  neo-isolationism is short-sighted (0+ / 0-)

              It is in our interests both in a broader moral sense and in a narrow financial sense to support our allies - just the increased gains to our GDP and ultimately tax revenue from keeping trade avenues open justify the support.

              I have a big problem with the recent isolationism that has begun to emerge from the left, notably among the eurolefty archetype but a little in america too now.  We can't afford to be like that.  The world can't afford it.

              •  Not isolationist at all (0+ / 0-)

                What I advocate is relating to the world in a different way.  I am most definitely in favor of keeping trade avenues open - to all nations.  I also favor citizen-to-citizen contact.  What I oppose is the use of our armed forces as the ambassadors and representatives of our country.  They are very good at killing people and destroying things but little else.

                I worry about people who agree with me; I know why I'm this way, but I have to wonder about what's wrong with them

                by George Gould on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 10:54:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sure, but that's a truism, (0+ / 0-)

                  If by that you mean the Iraq War was a bad idea, you're right.  

                  But when we have friends who are under assault for the crime of existing (SoKo looks fine these days but it is an existential debate between them and NoKo, Israel is under siege from enemies who are on record that they won't be satisfied until quote "the zionist entity is destroyed"), I think we're obligated to support them.

                  I also think that supporting them in no way makes the pre-existing conflict our fault.  On the flipside, regardless of fault, it's always our responsibility because it's the responsibility of the powerful to do what's right.  Doing nothing is a choice.  And a pretend choice at that because everything we do in one area reverberates into others.

  •  I basically agree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deepfish, ormondotvos, GoldnI, AJ WI

    It IS impossible to ignore, and most pro-Israel activists concur. Yet it is also possible to believe strongly in Israel's "right to exist" (of what other country has such a phrase ever come up??) while seeking a just solution for all.

    •  I'm against nations, period. (0+ / 0-)

      In answer to your question, the Confederate States of America was denied existence.

      Accountability: the ultimate Progressive Value...

      by ormondotvos on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:41:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pro and critical (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      baad, paxmonger

      I never really understand what "pro" Israel means. I am critical of the way the Israeli government treats Paestinians and its Arab citizens. I don't think that makes me "anti" Israel any more than criticizing the US government makes me anti-Amercan.

      I also think that the reason Israel often receives more criticism than say Syria or Saudi Arabia, which are worse in terms of human rights, is because Israel always tries to claim the moral high ground. I'm not saying it's right to criticize Israel more on those grounds, I just think that might explain some of it.

      I think it's difficult to ever have a real discussion about the conflicts Israel has with Arabs (including the Palestinians) because whenever one side brings up a legitimate grievance, and both have many, the other side just immediately says "well, maybe, but look what the other side did!" I think in general the Israeli populace is more self-reflective than their Arab neighbors, but lately that hasn't been reflected in the government.  

      •  There is also a concerted effort... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JPhurst, Eric S

        to portray Israel as an evil nation.  The "Zionism is racism" resolution of the U.N. General Assembly from the 1970's.  The Arab nations have (had? b/c they are making more concillatory moves recently) consistently tried to paint Israel as some kind of genocidal monster after they learned that they could not defeat them militarily.

        So when criticize one or the other side of this conflict, we must look at our perspective and double-check what we believe is reality b/c of all the propaganda put out there.

  •  Sometimes the anti Jewish-Semite diaries are..... (7+ / 0-)

    Not as direct, but fairly well concealed within the text of the diaries.

    I have been a supporter of the state of Israel in Kos and I'm a pro Jewish supporter.

    Some of the extreme anti Semite diaries are rare as you point out and trolled, But the anti-Israel sentiment in Kos is, sorry to say undeniable, or at the very least very vocal.

    I even venture to say that Anti- Israel or "Negative Israel" diaries are more frequent in Kos than are "Anti- Islamic fundamentalist" type of diaries, which usually get troll rated as racist diaries ( and some deservedly so)

    This just adds to the "Anti- Israel, Jew,"perception within Kos.

    Sure Marcos cannot control and edit every diary,but he made his point against "purists" and conspiracy diaries regarding 9/11 and that seems to have worked.

    Now that this was brought to Marcos attention by Ford it is up to Marcos to prove him wrong.

    But it is also undeniable that segments of the "left" have traditionally been "Anti-Israel", and quite often these are the most vocal.

    This is the segment that Marcos has to put on notice, like he did with the 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

    So rather than attack ford as some diarists seem to be doing, why not prove him wrong.

    The big print giveth and the small print taketh away

    by spinaltap on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:17:46 PM PDT

    •  depends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      baad, paxmonger

      9/11 conspiracy diaries are inherently ridiculous. But as many Israelis themselves will tell you, there are legitimate reasons to be critical of Israeli governmental policies. I'm not saying you think this, but it seems a lot of people try to silence legitimate criticism of Israeli policies with the anti-Semitism card.

      On the other hand, a lot of people who criticize Israel really are against its existence and probably are anti-Semites. Diaries that are based on hatred or the destruction of a state warrant deletion. However, diaries that criticize Israeli policy are not inherently "anti-Israel" or anti-Semitic.  

      So I'd be carefull about saying the topic is totally taboo, especially because any kind of major anouncement of the sort would validate the notion that the site has a lot of anti-Semitism. Most folks who have recently diaried here, including a number who self-identify as Jews, don't seem to think that's the case.

      •  I agree, the difference should be noted.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Doughnutman, Eric S, MrWiggins Esq

        However, diaries that criticize Israeli policy are not inherently "anti-Israel" or anti-Semitic.

        The topic should NOT be taboo of course, this is a lot more complex than a 9/11 conspiracy theory diary that stands out like a sore thumb.

        How ever often Diaries are "coated" under other guises one such one a few weeks ago highlighted the "Human crisis" over in Bethlehem, but scratching the surface with some comments revealed the diarists true agenda.

        The big print giveth and the small print taketh away

        by spinaltap on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 07:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well-concealed? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Here you just merged the obnoxious anti-Semites with your view of an anti-Semite. Where you can slam someone for perceived injustices, not real ones.

      Just like Harold Ford did today.

      Having been on this site since its early days, I am fully aware it has a large Jewish presence. They are what make this site. They are part of the reason I've been here for years.

      I also am critical of Israeli policies (and especially Olmert.) And I have a dream world where Israel (like any state) doesn't exist. Believing in a state over people to me is just wrong. If anyone thinks 'America' exists anymore given our global economic situation, she/he is living in la la land. How China handles our debt is far more important to U.S. policy than how I, as an American citizen, feel/vote/care.

      That said, I understand that the Israeli Jews, who have been screwed over by Olmert, deserve security. And Olmert, who follows US policy, will not provide this. (The majority of Israelis agree with me on this, which is why his approval rating is lower than Cheney's. But the US media and political class still treat him as some kind of 'leader'.) And for the time being, states are required to unite people. Which is why I accept the two-state solution (though I don't think it is a long-term solution.)

      What Ford said was that this site has contempt for 'American Jews'. Yes, I do. (Not all, but some.) And I've clearly stated why. Just like the Irish in America were providing support to the IRA without having to deal with the blowback, right-wing American Jews can fund settlers and right-wing policies without having to face the repurcussions. Well actually, they make hay off the repurcussions....after all, it is not them getting blown up by some misguided suicide bomber.

      And when I want an Israel that lives up the left-wing principles that some really great Jews have proposed, and rebuke the right-wing side of Israel, I get called an anti-Semite. Why? Cheap attacks.

      Just like Ford today.

  •  I am a pro-Israel Jew and a new Kossack (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dufffbeer, ormondotvos

    In the time that I have participated in Daily Kos, I have not seen an anti-Israel or anti-semite comment or diary.  Although, I have seen them on other blogs and it would not surprise me if they were here too.  The problem is that this is a democratic forum, so you can't stop someone from saying something stupid if they are determined to do so. You can only work to eliminate the obviously prejudiced posts.

    On the subject of Israel, people can agree with the state's right to exist and disagree with the government's actions.  In fact, if you look at polls of Israelis, they disagree with the actions of the PM Olmert and the Knessnet.  We on DKos disagree with the actions of our government, but we don't want to see it destroyed.

    Too often though, people conflate their disapproval of the actions of the Israeli government with a prejudicial and/or racist attitude.

    •  There are about a dozen here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Who'll consistently post "humanitarian" diaries concerned about the Palestinians etc but if you push them hard enough it always comes out one way or the other that they're against Israel's existence.

      That's prob an inappropriate view and would be regarded as racist were the target a little browner in average color.  (I wonder what these people think of sephardic jews)

      •  that's absolute nonsense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Define your terms and prove your claim or STFU

        To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It's a ritual sacrifice. With pie. (Anya)

        by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 06:59:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Destruction of Israel" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As in, they openly advocate for redrawing the borders to create a superstate combo where arabs outnumber jews.  Seems a little foolish since it's the only thing both parties agree they don't want.

          But yeah, that or the other day someone told me that the 47 UN armistice line (much smaller territory for Israel than 67) would create too large of an Israel for him.  Stuff like that.

          •  Arabs do outnumber Jews, I got news. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ormondotvos, paxmonger

            I think you'll find that almost all of Israel's critics here consider the 1968 borders as legitimate.

            What most of us object to is the transparent attempts to expand beyond those borders, through the piecewise annexation of the West Bank.

            To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It's a ritual sacrifice. With pie. (Anya)

            by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 07:24:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well I'm fine with the 67 borders (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftynyc, zemblan, nklein

              Although I hold pragmatic views involving adjustments here and there measured in city blocks - natural population drift and all that over the last 40 years.  A square-mile for square-mile standard should happen for all trades though.

              But yeah, that's the thing, there are a dozen here who've made no bones about their position that they'd rather a superstate including lots of arabs and no jewish state than letting Israel get to exist within whichever borders.  

              Yeah, arabs outnumber jews - that's why they get 24 countries or whatever.  The jews just need one.

              •  well a dozen, not so many. (0+ / 0-)

                I mean, in a outfit this large, you'll find at least that many outriders of just every extreme position.

                Like in Canada, there's a few recognisable types (objectivists, members of B'nai Brith) who appear every other day in the letters section of the national papers. You could design a trivial AI program to compose their output based on the previous days headlines. It's organised on some level, and I would expect to see the same thing here. It's just, on this site, no one is actively filtering the comments.

                To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It's a ritual sacrifice. With pie. (Anya)

                by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 07:48:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Is being anti-Arab similarly abhorred? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Boreal Ecologist

                  I think not.

                  Accountability: the ultimate Progressive Value...

                  by ormondotvos on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 09:38:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Like I said in my original point, (0+ / 0-)

                    If someone was coming down on the Palestinians' right to have a state in the fashion that some routinely do on Israel, they'd be TR'd into oblivion.

                    But somehow in the name of "diversity of opinion", you'll find people saying it's ok to claim Israel should not exist.

                    But yes, I believe being anti-Arab is in fact similarly abhorred.  Never seen anyone get away with it, because everyone here has a hair trigger on racism.

                  •  I think so (0+ / 0-)

                    I never see people getting away with anti-Arab or anti-Muslim language here.

                  •  No, (0+ / 0-)

                    being anti-Arab isn't similarly abhorred. Well, not when it comes to I/P that is, imo.

                    Then again...

                    A great deal of people here support invading an nuclear armed nation, Pakistan, to get at OBL. Only die-hard fans of Obama and Edwards would even consider this to be a good idea.

                    But, I gotta wonder though. If OBL was holed up in France, and the French gov't could not find him, would we even consider invading France?

                    And then there are our prisons and our black sites where we torture and murder Arabs based on nothing more than a dollar or a finger. Dems are in power now (I think) and yet these people have not been released. In fact, I don't hear much of anything that Dems are doing to shut it all down or at least make some effort to remove the innocent. Are there any Dems pols petitioning on behalf of Arab prisoners, demanding their release, demanding trials for each and every one? Would this even be an issue if the 'combatants' weren't Arab?

                    So, is it politics with a touch of racism? Racism with a touch of politics? I don't know. Got me wondering though...

                    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                    by callmecassandra on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:12:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah, blows my mind, (0+ / 0-)

                      that obama supporters twisted their ideologies in pretzel knots to support that piece of "uh oh, better get some tough guy cred back fast after that debate, uh, uh, pakistan!".

                      Meanwhile that statement had horrible results for us in domestic pakistani politics that did actual damage.  I like Obama's attitude and I think he's smart but he clearly doesn't know enough to be prez yet.

                      Like, how would invading Pakistan possibly be a good idea?

                •  Well that's fine and I'm fine with it, (0+ / 0-)

                  The numbers are low, but you can't come around and say it's not a problem, that's how these things fester and turn into an actual substantive problem.

                  I'm not saying censorship is the solution but there oughtta be something.  80% of I/P diaries are propaganda waged against Israel's existence or one of Keith Moon's defenses against the same.

                  •  For example, this guy ormond you're uprating (0+ / 0-)

                    is one of the people who thinks there should be no Israel, he's on record with it upthread.  Of course he thinks no states should exist, but also seems to have quite a bit more of a problem with Israel than other states.  

          •  Some people do want a one-state solution (0+ / 0-)

            and some people don't really want that but they think Israeli expansion into the WB has made it inevitable.

            But it's just dishonest to twist this to claiming they all want to "destroy Israel".

            All you're doing is giving the wingers a handle to bash this site with.  "Posters on Daily Kos want to destroy Israel."  It's not only a damn lie, it's a lie that harms this site.

      •  "it always comes out" (0+ / 0-)

        from the way some people twist what the diarists say.

  •  Let's get this straight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    baad, paxmonger

    There is a big difference between bigotry and one's political views in relation to Israel and US policy involving it. Yes, one can question or even rant against US of support of the right wing in Israeli and US politics and government and not be anti-Semitic. One can stand up for fairness in dealing with the Palestinians, too. A good many Jews, including Israeli Jews do this also. Being against Joe Lieberman because he appears to some to be so pro-Israel as to think that the US needs to use its awesome power to dominate or destroy any potential enemy of Israel is not to attack him for being a Jew. Many fundies are right with him on that. I don't read every diary, but I haven't seen anything I can remember that I'd call anti-Semitic, although I have seen a few exchanges about ME foreign policy involving Israel that got hot. Face it, it's a touchy subject. But we need to have these debates and no doubt will continue to have them until the ME is at peace.

    Live unity, celebrate diversity.

    by tjfxh on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:54:34 PM PDT

  •  What Ford said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doughnutman, zemblan, paxmonger

    is outrageous and extremely offensive.  He should apologize to the Kos community.

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