Dear Daily Kos,
I'm a long-time reader, and, for most of my stint here, I've been a sporadic contributor. (Some of you might recognize me from this diary, which chronicled how I met the family of the Hamas terrorist who tried to kill my wife.)
Anyway, recently I began contributing I/P diaries on a much more frequent basis after a conversation with my wife:
Me: I should really add my voice to the panoply of Israel/Middle East
Me: Yeah, I mean, my insights are sharp and I know my stuff.
Me: Seriously. And maybe I could have a positive impact, could somehow
further understanding and conflict resolution though the collective
influence of my words.
Me: And I'm a devastatingly good writer.
Wife: [Rolls eyes]
Me: And there's so much uninformed drivel and negativity out there—
Wife: Shut up.
Wife: Just shut up already and start writing.
Me: Oh, okay.
So I began writing I/P diaries here in conjunction with my other blog work. And things began well. I was invited to join a Foreign Relations group. Diarists were complimentary and, for the most part, respectful in dissent.
And then last night's vitriol occurred.
Now, let me state for the record that I do not have thin skin. When someone disagrees with me, I am quick to find merit in their words before defending my own. When someone argues with me, I take it as an engagement, not as an offense.
Let me also state that I am very versed in political discussions surrounding the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in other venues. I understand the contentiousness of the issue. The deep emotional investments. The rage. I've lived it.
However, what I experienced last night in my DK diary is unlike anything I've experienced at other progressive, left-oriented sites. What I experienced here were diarists throwing verbal bombs so offensive and woefully ignorant that all I could do is shake my head, my cursor hovering over the delete button.
My intention in writing about the I/P conflict is to further dialogue about the truth of what is occurring – on both sides – in the region. My intention in offering commentary on the conflict is to increase the chance – however infinitesimal – for some type of brokered, two-state solution to materialize.
Last night, I thought to myself, "What if writing at DK will do nothing but cause further discord, further contention? What if writing at DK will do nothing but cause me pain?"
I'm not sure where I am via-a-vis Daily Kos right now. I certainly don't want the "vitriol-spewers" to win. I imagine that's what some will say: don't let them win. (Just as there were some in Israel who told us not to leave after the terrorist attack – not to let the terrorists win.)
And I agree. I don't want the negativity to "win."
I'm just not sure I want to stay here.
And that saddens me greatly.
UPDATE: I just learned that moderation changed with DK4. First, why wasn't I notified by carrier pigeon? And second, I'm assuming this is why things seem so horrible of late. It seems as though the tone here really has changed.