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This post started out as a comment in another diary.

By the time the presidential election comes around, an array of other issues, domestic issues will dominate the campaign. Yes there are some voters out there who make this the decisive issue in who they'd consider voting for and the vast majority of those people are either Jewish or conservative Evangelicals. And we should all respect their prerogative to vote their consciences, and support their choices.  

This political calculus is correct. You risk losing far more support by being a vocal critic of Israel than you'll ever hope to gain. That's just a recognition of the way American politics works in the first decades of the 21st century. Candidates who voice support for Israel and sidestep this frey are taking a pragmatic course IMHO. Its the safe play.

And THAT DYNAMIC is what give our politicians what amounts to political laryngitis when it comes to the Israel Palestine issue.

And that epidemic of POLITICAL LARYNGITIS what what makes BDS that much more important to Progressives. So if you are a Progressive and you haven't joined the BDS movement please consider doing so.

                                                             BDS

For this discussion I'd like to leave the merits of the Israeli government and Palestinian positions on the conflict for other diaries, and try to keep the focus on Democratic politics and the BDS Movement.

I realize emotions are running high on both sides of the issue so please let try and treat each other with respect even if we hold profoundly different views.  

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 06:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for reading (23+ / 0-)

    "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 06:48:39 PM PDT

  •  Is not the concern mostly money? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know that it is a concern about Jewish votes that drives most Democratic candidates to voice unwavering support for Israel.  Presumably it is not voter preference that drives, say, banking policy, and it is not a risk of voter antipathy that drives candidates to support at best tepid regulatory reform that fails to address that sector of the economy.  

     What is the suggestion for incorporating the BDS campaign into the mainstream of the Democratic Party? I am open to this as I plan to go to Democratic state convention this month and would like to know how I can help, if I can.

    •  I'm sure that varies with each district's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      demographic makeup and the individual candidates' proclivities.  

      "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:54:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but democratic support is consistent (0+ / 0-)

        Across districts and states. So that would seem to support a monetary base of support for Israel, not electoral.

        •  But voters have a fairly even support for Israel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza

          across districts as well. The majority of Democratic voters support Israel, that's why the majority of Democratic candidates support Israel. Well, that and AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbies. But there's no need to buy the Dems on the issue when the majority of their constituents agree with AIPAC, if not completely then mostly.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 07:49:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's not Jewish Votes that drive the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, a2nite, DeeDee001, FG

      conversation, excepting about 15 districts.

      But Evangelical Votes sure do.  There are 30-60 million Americans devoted to the idea that all Jews must be gathered in Israel and the Temple must be re-built.

      And they vote.

      The UN should give Iraq a restraining order against the US.

      by JesseCW on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:06:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        But they aren't voting for Democrats, and is there much empirical evidence that this issue drives them to vote?

        •  if 10-20% of them vote Democratic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          That's comparable, or maybe more, than the number of Jewish Democratic voters.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:50:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  depends (0+ / 0-)

            On district for example and state. I assume negligible numbers in NY and NJ compared to Jewish voters and that reverse is true in South or Midwest for most part. But also about intensity; Jewish voters might have more intense interest in the topic compared to evangelical voter, and both may prioritize other issues well above it. For example Jewish voters are much more socially liberal and probably prioritize that over Israel on average, and same for social conservatism and evangelical voters. In Michigan this issue is rarely subject of intense debate, only recent example I can think of is Smash primary. And he still won over conservative Republican voters in primary.

        •  CUFI is bigger than AIPAC. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          I'd say the tens of thousands of evangelicals who tour Israel each year and go to the Plane of Meggido to see where Jesus will ride down with fire are probably motivated to vote on this issue.

          The UN should give Iraq a restraining order against the US.

          by JesseCW on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:27:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            I think that most are probably also concentrated in areas where that vote is negligible for one reason or another.  But they might also donate on that basis.  But is there reason to think they vote for Democrats? Or that the negligible votes Democrats receive from evangelicals are swayed one way or another by candidate position on conflict?

            •  I don't think they vote for Democrats (much) but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              unfangus, Detroit Denizen

              I do think they can be excited and motivated to both vote and expend considerable volunteer hours in support of Republicans based on this issue.

              I mean, John McCain didn't kiss Hagees ass for fear his flock would support Obama....but because he wanted that mob to knock doors and phone bank for him.  Not to mention, make sure their own family all got registered and made it to the polls.

              The UN should give Iraq a restraining order against the US.

              by JesseCW on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 12:23:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Concentrated in places where Dems lose elections (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:16:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not even 15 (0+ / 0-)

        My Congressman is Eliot Engel. He will be the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee should the Democrats take back control of the US House of Representatives. He is as pro-Israel as you can get. He is Jewish, but the district isn't. In fact, I don't think that there is a single Jewish-majority district in America.

        A right wing anti-Zionist Jewish Republican threatened to run against him a few years ago. I helped end that campaign before it started by helping to embarrass him for his lack of knowledge of issues and his patronizing stance toward liberals and better-educated voters. I'm kind of proud of that.

        •  I doubt there is a single Jewish majority district (0+ / 0-)

          as well.

          But there are 12-15 where a Democrat can't win if Jewish voters overwhelmingly don't turn out or a large percentage vote Republican.

          Eliot Engel is a disgusting racist fuck who supports Apartheid and has walked right to the edge of declaring Arabs sub-human.

          If you were capable of shame, I'd suggest that you might feel it in 20 years when the current version of Dixiecrats - the profoundly racist Anti-Arab creatures in office today - are repudiated.

          The UN should give Iraq a restraining order against the US.

          by JesseCW on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 04:44:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And the Christian Zionist meme (0+ / 0-)

        that the Temple needs to be rebuilt so that the Christian Messiah can return is a minority position even among Christian fundamentalists. The ones who hold it are just very loud. There aren't very many of them in the Northeast; I don't miss them.

  •  so the goal of BDS is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    As stated in http://www.bdsmovement.net/...

    "Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;"

    That is - Gaza should be returned to Egypt?

  •  thanks for doing this lefty. I've finally made it (5+ / 0-)

    Down to our new home in Florida from Massachusetts and will not h ave Internet until late wednesday.  My iPhone battery seems to have died so I'm way out of touch except for moments when I can borrow someone else's phone.

    After decades of supporting a two state solution through negotiation netanyahu 's categorical rejection of a free and independent Palestinian state leaves me perceiving no other viable alternative to reviving the possibility of a peaceful transition to a two state solution than to fully support boycotts, divestment and sanctions,
     and immediate recognition of a Palestinian state under Abbas

    Without a whole new game plan a much worse future seems likely for both Israel and palestine.

    Now, Netanyahu and Likud believe infinite delay is their best option to establish facts on the ground.

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:08:51 PM PDT

  •  There is a lot of truth there, witness HRC's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, Lefty Coaster

    interview with Jeffrey Goldberg: http://m.theatlantic.com/...

    Her view of American foreign policy is frankly, quite daft.

  •  I wore out my sandals (4+ / 0-)

    Went to the store to get a new pair. NAOT is an Israeli brand, makes fine shoes. Could not bring myself to buy them, not now, though I have in the past. Didn't know about BDS but I did my little bit for it,explaining to the nice saleslady that I couldn't consider that brand of shoes. Not now. It's only a little thing, but it was what I had to do.

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:14:08 PM PDT

  •  BDS has been and will continue to be a failure (4+ / 0-)

    China and India are flocking to do business with Israel.

    Israel is about to become a large energy exporter.

    Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are starting to turn more to Israel.

    Israeli developments in science and technology are causing Silicon Valley companies to license Israeli technology and acquire Israeli companies.  Israel has had more IPOs this year than ever, and the Israel stock exchange continues to set record after record.

    Most important, why would businesses want to work with whatever would replace Israel?  Nobody wants Hamas to win.  The Palestinian Authority is a kleptocracy that steals from its own people and does not obey the rule of law.

    Worse, the Palestinians got rid of Fayyed and instead formed a "unity" government with Hamas.  Not a move likely to inspire business to flock away from Israel.  The Palestinians have proven themselves to be completely unserious about developing an economy on their own and instead to focus solely on anti-Israel stunts and trying to bypass negotiations with Israel in the hope that they can get some gains at the UN without the necessary concessions.

    Simple fact: If you care about human rights, why would you put your faith in any Palestinian institution today?  There is no Palestinian institution that's trying to build a positive future for Palestinians.  They just steal from their people and try to blame shit on Israel.

    Even the Rolling Stones told the BDS Movement to fuck off when they played in Israel this year.  

    BDS is a joke.  But at least you've got Roger Waters on your side.

    •  If it's not an issue, why do you waste so much of (6+ / 0-)

      your time pounding your keyboard and insisting vehemently that it's not an issue?

      The UN should give Iraq a restraining order against the US.

      by JesseCW on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:11:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone divesting needs to do it right.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      charliehall2, RedsFanForever

      Better start with the computer they're reading Dkos on. Chances are it says Intel inside. Oops. It's probably running Microsoft windows. Oops
      Hope they don't use a 4G or LTE cellphone. Oops
      Or Facebook - oops
      Or google - oops
      Or store anything in the cloud - oops
      Hey, this could be a fun story! Can a BDS supporter write about how they created a household free from Israeli companies, or those with a significant Israeli presence?Joining the Amish might be a good first step....

      The sad thing is, if I wanted to retaliate and "divest" myself of Arab products, companies and technologies...umm, I wouldn't know where to begin. Is there a BDS list for the above?

      •  Why so worried then? (0+ / 0-)

        Heh heh.

        "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:50:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not, but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JNEREBEL, RedsFanForever

          I'm more concerned with the outright lies being spread by the BDS movement, the despicable and false equivalency to Apartheid or Jim Crow (There are no separate "Arab" and "Jewish" bathrooms, restaurants, shops, busses, water fountains, even schools in Israel).

          I'm also concerned with the academic boycott, which serves no useful purpose other than to propagandize and limit student learning, and restrict research and development worldwide. Israelis participation in academia has had an immense impact on the world, and their R&D has driven much of the modern information and bio sections of the economy. Restricting that is just plain stupid, and more harmful to the rest of the world.

    •  One correction to your comment (0+ / 0-)

      There is no unity government at the moment. There was an agreement to create a unity government later this month. (IIRC the deadline is this week.) The current PA government has basically the same political independents that the previous one had. (They are somewhat misleadingly called "technocrats".) There have been many attempts at PA unity governments in the past and all have failed; I strongly suspect that this one will as well.

  •  Evangelicals don't vote for Dems but they have (0+ / 0-)

    More access to the media, are louder, more obnoxious. That's why they have hamstrung the TGOP.

    Shhhh don't say anything bad about Israel, just divest.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 05:57:10 AM PDT

  •  You've depicted, with near-mathematical elegance.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    ...why progressives lose.  You state that it's a better electoral strategy not to support BDS, but that progressives should nevertheless do it.  I think that would make sense if it were a bedrock defining issue for our country, such that it's better to lose fighting than to win "getting along," but this issue isn't.  In the end we're running for public office in the US and if we give up something internationally to win domestically that's probably worth laryngitis.  

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 06:28:34 AM PDT

  •  Supporting BDS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RedsFanForever

    will be the end of the political careers for most Democrats who sign on.

    And I'm not upset with that.

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