At Dean’s World, Aziz takes issue with what some on the Right are characterizing as the Silence of the Left over recent events in Israel’s neighborhood. I too have noticed that NPR has reported relatively little on the conflict during peak drive time. Instead they have run stories about Bush’s planned veto on federally funded stem cell research, and illegal immigrants. They even ran a story about a town posting signs in a fountain warning of “hydrogen” in the water. Meanwhile Israel is taking care of business.
Whenever the Left is silent, I know that something is up. Reality has intruded into their fantasies, and they are forced to spin new theories or push their cognitive dissonance beyond its limits. Similar events happen on the Right – usually involving the personal failings of a favored pol or spokesman (Rush’s chemical abuse is one example that leaps to mind).
What really buggers them is that the actions of Hamas and Hesballah (today’s spelling) are so blatantly warlike. Crossing a border, attacking soldiers, then firing missiles into civilian areas – all from areas that Israel has completely vacated. The hard anti-semitic Left will have no problem making Israel the aggressor in these cases, but it’s much harder for the softer Left – many of whom happen to be Jewish.
Jews and the American Right have never been natural allies. The traditional Right – exemplified by Pat Buchanan and his publication, American Conservative – has never been a strong supporter of Israel and has always encompassed groups with various degrees of anti-semitic views. They have therefore tended to lean leftward traditionally.
However the traditional terms used to describe political ideologies no longer make sense anymore. For example, the strongest anti-semitism is now found on the Left – supporting boycotts of Israel to its outright destruction. It has also become a bastion of intolerance toward Judeo-Christian religions – seeing them as oppressors of more enlightened peoples.
Meanwhile the Religious Right has been vocal in its support of Israel, de-emphasizing its past history of attempted conversion of the Jews while discovering Biblical basis for Israel’s right to exist. Also, the Neo-Conservatives have championed America’s strong support of Israel as a way to protect the US from the anti-American forces in the Middle East – ignoring Israel’s weapon sales of American technology to China.
The silence exists – contrary to what Aziz believes – and it is palpable as the pro-Israel Left comes to terms with an Israel that played by the rules and got hit anyways. One can only hope that many of the Left begin to recognize that what they call Liberalism is nothing of the such, and is more reactionary than anything found on the Right.