(Cross-posted at Israel Thrives)
If so, it's hard to see just what.
Prior to Obama's ruination of whatever potential there may have been in the peace process, there was still a possibility that the Left's incessant demands for additional Israeli concessions might have been justified. While there was still a chance at a negotiated end of hostilities it made sense to compromise and to seek compromises. But those days are dead and Barack Obama helped kill them.
This being the case, the Progressive movement has nothing to say, or should have nothing to say, about the Arab-Israel conflict and the very last thing they should be doing is pressuring Israel to do anything. The likes of Peter Beinart and Thomas Friedman and J-Street (and anyone who suggests that the “Palestinian narrative” needs to be taught to little Jewish kids in Israel) have been discredited. Progressive-left American Jews, who seem to think that the real problem is not so much Hamas but Likud, are in no position to lecture Israelis about their own security needs.
Beyond propelling Palestinian-Arab propaganda and discouraging discussion on some very important issues to the Jewish community, and often in the nastiest manner possible, the progressive movement has nothing to say on the Arab-Israel conflict. They haven't had a fresh idea since the beginning of Oslo, but Oslo is long over.
Propelling Palestinian-Arab Propaganda:
“Progressive Zionists” propel Arab propaganda. They do not mean to do so, but do so nonetheless. They do so by discussing the issue within the frames set for them by the anti-Israel propagandists, themselves. There are all sorts of ways that this is done and we've only really begun to discuss some of them here at the bar and grill. Language is hugely important. Progressive-left Jews who frame the discussion in such a manner that Israel is already guilty before the conversation even begins are framing the matter in ways designed by their enemies. Talk of “Occupation” with a capital “O,” for example, buries Israel before the conversation even gets started. But that is only one example that illustrates progressive-left framing that serves the purpose of anti-Israel propaganda. There are plenty more and we will be discussing them going forward. That much I assure you.
Alan Dershowitz, who I very much respect, likes to tell audiences that he has opposed Israeli-Jewish building in the territories since 1973. If I had an opinion in 1973, I probably would have agreed with him, but this is no longer 1973. Before the Palestinians finally, really let us know that there would be no negotiated settlement anytime in the near future, with a little help in that direction from Barack Obama, giving in to their racist demands might have made sense if it were to actually result in peace. It didn't. That being the case there is no reason why Jewish progressives should continue to insist on the ethnic cleansing of their fellow Jews from Judea or to continue sucking up to non-Jewish political powers by telling other Jews where they may, or may not, be allowed to live.
Discouraging Necessary Discussion:
But perhaps the worst disservice that progressive-left Jews do to their fellow Jews is in the stifling of discussion and debate. Because progressive Jews have absorbed much of the Palestinian narrative, they find all sorts of topics verboten. Anyone who transgresses the line gets lambasted, defamed, and ridiculed. I have a whole long list of things that one is not allowed to discuss on the progressive-left,including among most progressive-left Jews, unless one wants to have one's character dragged through the mud.
They won't discuss the centuries of Jewish dhimmitude under the boot of Islamic imperialism. They won't discuss the recent construction of Palestinian identity, its connection to Soviet Cold War politics, and how this is an Arab people with a Roman name that refers to Greeks. They won't discuss Arab and Palestinian Koranically-based racism as the fundamental source of the conflict. They won't discuss the Palestinian theft and appropriation of Jewish history. They won't discuss "Pallywood." They won't discuss the historical connections between the Nazis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Palestinian national movement. They won't discuss the perpetual refusal of the Palestinian-Arabs to accept a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one. They won't discuss the Arab-Palestinian indoctrination of children with Jew hatred. And they won't discuss human rights violations against women, children, and Gay people in the Muslim Middle East. And they would much rather discuss the virtually non-existent white supremacist threat over the real threat of the rise of radical Islam throughout the Muslim world under the false banner of "Arab Spring."
And, thus, “progressive Zionists” say virtually nothing and stand for virtually nothing.
No wonder the Israelis have moved on.
Oh, and by the way, while I am here, let me have a cheese burger, medium rare, with extra onions, a side of fries, and... ahhhh... a Fosters!