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Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
08-20-2012, 02:08 PM
Post: #1
Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
I’ve been baffled at the schism between the Left and the Right on in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Right is generally supportive and sympathetic of Israel, while the Left tends to be much more supportive of the Palestinians. How did this come to be? Is there anything in the core values of either philosophy that would logically align them with one side over the other? I can understand the Libertarian tendency to lean towards non-interference, but Libertarians tend to be neutral on the issue of which side is “good” or legally correct.
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08-21-2012, 11:30 PM
Post: #2
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
Agreed. It's a mystery to me also. The only thing that has always struck me is that it's the disdain for American exceptionalism hyped up to the next level. The people of Israel are a scrappy bunch. And they defend what they have with solid conviction. Sort of like we used to do, which seemed to set the left in this country off. On the other hand, the support by the right seems to be more a matter of filling a vacuum and accepting the support of a group with no real competition for their support. "You got no friends? How about if we are friends and support each other? We can use all the support we can get. And so can you."
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08-22-2012, 12:30 AM
Post: #3
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
Good point on the American exceptionalism, which is more accepted among the Right, and less so by the Left. The schism with Israel also exist in Europe, where there is also a diverence of opinions among the Left and Right about American exceptionalism.

On another forum, a Left-leaning person was trying to promote the idea that the Right's alignment with Israel had to do with fanatical support for biblical prophecy (Book of Revelations, most likely), and that the only reason they promoted Israel was to speed up the Second Coming, or something like that. I don't give that theory much credibility at all. However, people who are more religious may be more sympathetic to the Jewish people, even among Christians, whom may consider them to be God's people. However, many Christian doctrines aren't terribly sympathetic towards Jewish theology, as some actually seem anti-Jewish, so I’m not sure that this is a significant factor, either.

On a more cynical note, it might be argued that anti-Semitism, which was active among some of the Left-leaning political movements of the early twentieth century, may have a lingering effect. The communists, socialist, fascists, and arguably, the early 20th century progressives, were overtly anti-Semitic. The early 20th century (pre-World War II) was a time where Fascism wasn’t a dirty word, and the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was being promoted by Henry Ford. Modern liberals rightly denounce the atrocities of that era. It’s easy to find caustic finger pointing between the Right and the Left in regards to antisemitism of the era.
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08-24-2012, 10:39 AM (This post was last modified: 08-24-2012 10:47 AM by Ignatius.)
Post: #4
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
(08-22-2012 12:30 AM)nomoon Wrote:  Good point on the American exceptionalism, which is more accepted among the Right, and less so by the Left. The schism with Israel also exist in Europe, where there is also a diverence of opinions among the Left and Right about American exceptionalism.

On another forum, a Left-leaning person was trying to promote the idea that the Right's alignment with Israel had to do with fanatical support for biblical prophecy (Book of Revelations, most likely), and that the only reason they promoted Israel was to speed up the Second Coming, or something like that. I don't give that theory much credibility at all. However, people who are more religious may be more sympathetic to the Jewish people, even among Christians, whom may consider them to be God's people. However, many Christian doctrines aren't terribly sympathetic towards Jewish theology, as some actually seem anti-Jewish, so I’m not sure that this is a significant factor, either.

On a more cynical note, it might be argued that anti-Semitism, which was active among some of the Left-leaning political movements of the early twentieth century, may have a lingering effect. The communists, socialist, fascists, and arguably, the early 20th century progressives, were overtly anti-Semitic. The early 20th century (pre-World War II) was a time where Fascism wasn’t a dirty word, and the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was being promoted by Henry Ford. Modern liberals rightly denounce the atrocities of that era. It’s easy to find caustic finger pointing between the Right and the Left in regards to antisemitism of the era.

I think you are too quick to dismiss the power of Evangelicals in the Republican Party of 2012 and the extent that they base their support on the belief that the existence of the State of Israel is a sign of the Second Coming. I was brought up in an Evangelical Church and can attest that these people sincerely believe this and they are vocal. They also vote and campaign. I would normally dismiss my apocryphal evidence somewhat, but I see plenty of evidence it extends much deeper. Take a look at the sales of the "Left Behind" and the the incredible popularity of end times televised ministries, for instance. I saw a headline today that the GOP is running forty candidates for national office that would vote to outlaw abortion in cases of rape. That mentality doesn't come from anywhere but religion.

I find it weird that the "Right" heaps so much praise on a government that has aggressively pursued a Socialist economic policy since its inception. It was just a few weeks ago that Romney praised Israel's healthcare system that is far more state run than Obama's (formerly Romney's) healthcare plan he derides at every opportunity here. Further, leaving aside how they got in the state they are in, the Right would be screaming bloody murder about how Israel administers the Occupied Territories by any other country (see Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall!" speech).

So why do free market, freedom loving American Rightists all at once think the opposite is fantastic when Israel does it? Is there is a reason other than religious identity?

I also reject this contention that anti-Semitism is a hallmark of left-leaning movements (which I see you included fascism as one of these, it's not). Communism, especially in Europe was explicitly linked to Jews by the European Right. Hitler's whole crusade against the Soviet Union (and eventually the US) was based on his fervent belief those nations were puppets of Jews. I have no idea where you get the contention that early 20th Century progressives were overtly anti-Semitic. Do you have a source for that? The KKK had millions of members in the 1920's and '30s and they sure as hell weren't voting for the New Deal.
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08-25-2012, 05:59 AM
Post: #5
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
Hello and thanks for dropping in. I would like to encourage you to take a look at the FAQ and Rules for the forum.


(08-24-2012 10:39 AM)Ignatius Wrote:  I think you are too quick to dismiss the power of Evangelicals in the Republican Party of 2012 and the extent that they base their support on the belief that the existence of the State of Israel is a sign of the Second Coming. I was brought up in an Evangelical Church and can attest that these people sincerely believe this and they are vocal. They also vote and campaign. I would normally dismiss my apocryphal evidence somewhat, but I see plenty of evidence it extends much deeper.

My experience is different from yours. I also attended various Evangelical churches in the deep South growing up and I don’t remember any support for Israel for apocalyptic reasons. I remember hearing the term “Holy Land,” but opinions on specific interpretations of the book of Revelation varied widely.

(08-24-2012 10:39 AM)Ignatius Wrote:  Take a look at the sales of the "Left Behind" and the the incredible popularity of end times televised ministries, for instance.

I read the first book as part of a book club reading. The writing quality wasn’t bad, and it wasn’t overly preachy. I was pleasantly surprised, though I wasn’t compelled to read any more of the series. The author seemed to want to tell a story with a premise based on some assumptions. I don’t see the popularity of the books as evidence that the Right supports Israel for apocalyptic reasons.


(08-24-2012 10:39 AM)Ignatius Wrote:  I saw a headline today that the GOP is running forty candidates for national office that would vote to outlaw abortion in cases of rape. That mentality doesn't come from anywhere but religion.

This kind of condescension is not welcome in this forum. Please take a look at the FAQ and Rules for the forum. I might not agree with those politicians either, but I don’t have to denigrate their logic by attributing their conclusions as being the result of a "mentality" (state or quality of mental or intellectual ability, mental inclination or character) , rather than based on reasoning.


(08-24-2012 10:39 AM)Ignatius Wrote:  I find it weird that the "Right" heaps so much praise on a government that has aggressively pursued a Socialist economic policy since its inception. It was just a few weeks ago that Romney praised Israel's healthcare system that is far more state run than Obama's (formerly Romney's) healthcare plan he derides at every opportunity here.

What does this have to do with the original question? This seems more like a gratuitous slam against the Right.


(08-24-2012 10:39 AM)Ignatius Wrote:  … So why do free market, freedom loving American Rightists all at once think the opposite is fantastic when Israel does it? Is there is a reason other than religious identity?

If one side (Left) flocked to one side of the issue, it sounds plausible that the other side (Right) may reflexively take up the other side of the issue. I’m not saying that this is necessarily the case.


(08-24-2012 10:39 AM)Ignatius Wrote:  I also reject this contention that anti-Semitism is a hallmark of left-leaning movements (which I see you included fascism as one of these, it's not).

Fascism was not a left-leaning movement? There are many who believe that Mussolini’s socialist-populist policies would put him in the “Left” category. I’ll acknowledge that there were different flavors of fascists in early 20th century Europe, and that the definition of Fascism is somewhat ambiguous.


(08-24-2012 10:39 AM)Ignatius Wrote:  Communism, especially in Europe was explicitly linked to Jews by the European Right. Hitler's whole crusade against the Soviet Union (and eventually the US) was based on his fervent belief those nations were puppets of Jews.

Again, you seem to be asserting your beliefs as facts. If segments of the European Right did link Jews to communism, it doesn’t mean that it was the only source of anti-Semitism. Also, labeling Hitler and the Nazis (National Socialist Party) as Right wing is also a debatable topic. There is no shortage of internet discussions on the topic. Stalin, had originally publically denounced anti-Semitism , though there are several incidences of his behavior that ran counter to that, and that the Soviet Union become more overtly anti-Semitic over the years.


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08-27-2012, 12:25 PM (This post was last modified: 08-27-2012 12:32 PM by nomoon.)
Post: #6
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
While we are on the subject, why don't we check my premise:

do others agree that the Left/Liberals tends to side with the Palestinians, while the Right/Conservatives tend to side with Israel?

EDIT: I just started another thread with a poll here where you can vote.
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08-31-2012, 04:10 AM (This post was last modified: 08-31-2012 04:22 AM by Ignatius.)
Post: #7
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
It appears our experiences with evangelical churches and the belief some of them have that the establishment of the state of Israel is necessary for the Second Coming are different. The book Late, Great Planet Earth, which espouses that premise, was taken as a true interpretation of Biblical prophecies in the church I was brought up in. Wikipedia says that book has sold over 28 million copies and spawned a movie and sequels, so I find it hard to believe that book is not influential.

Re my use of "mentality" as condescending. I don't read it that way or intended it to be such. (I know when I condescend). My point was that I have never heard an argument making it the law of the land that a victim of rape must bear the child that is it's product that as its base came down to a religious reason. I don't have another word to describe the thought process. I think free market capitalism, while prickly with edges that must be smoothed, has done more to alleviate human suffering than any other single system in human history. The reason I have that belief is my interpretation of the history of the United States in comparison to other systems. When confronted with an opinion opposed to that, my initial response is the argue with it. To say that is my mentality is not condescending (to me at least).

Now onto your contention that it is "debatable" that Fascism and Nazism are leftist movements. I find this contention outright bizarre, particularly if offered on the strength of nothing more than "internet debates". If that statement means my contributions are not welcome here, then that is fine. However, if you make statements like that, particularly without any kind of sourcing (other than "internet debates"), then that strikes me as trolling, which defeats the stated purpose of the forum.

The Soviet Union nationalized all industry, putting the economy directly under the control of the government. That's right out of The Communist Manifesto, the "Bible", if you will, of modern extremist leftist movements. Hitler and il Duce did not make large scale nationalization of industry and in fact each made allies of their country's respective industrial leaders to shore up their respective regimes. See Alan Bullock, A Study in Tyranny and Rise and William Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Hostility of the European Right in early to mid 20th Century Europe is a fact (the two above sources are a few of legion), it is not my "belief".

I will take the work of thousands serious scholars and journalists for the contention of Nazis and Fascists as Right wing movements over any number of "internet discussions". Again, this statement strike me as a trollish response. I can right now find zillions of "internet discussions" that 9/11 was an inside job, Obama and Elizabeth II are lizard people and we never landed on the moon, among even more bizarre topics. So what? Because anonymous people on the internet discuss it, it doesn't make a topic "debatable", except in the most tortured use of the term. For example:

"Also, labeling Osama bin Laden as anything but a CIA plant is also a debatable topic. There is no shortage of internet discussions on the topic."

"Also, labeling Obama as a Christian American is also a debatable topic. There is no shortage of internet discussions on the topic."

"Also, labeling Denver International Airport as anything other than a secret FEMA base/concentration camp to be activated when the New World Order takes over is also a debatable topic. There is no shortage of internet discussions on the topic."

You get what I mean. To my thinking, elevating the discourse means discussing theory based on facts. It is not fitting facts to theory.
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09-01-2012, 06:19 AM
Post: #8
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
So many side topics in your post…

1) The proposed link between the Right's greater support for Israel.

There are several weaknesses in this argument, including the following:

a) A prophetic observation is different from actively causing something to happen. (i.e. Their prophesy states that the state of Israel will be established before the second coming. It doesn't state that in order to cause the second coming you must first establish the state of Israel)

b) The Right's support support for Israel come from more than the evangelical wing of the GOP.

c) The Left has a higher percentage of Jewish voters, who have a more direct religious and cultural reason to support Israel, but yet the Left's support sides with the Palestinians more than the Jewish population.

2. Let's try and stay away from ad hominem arguments (i.e. someone's "mentality"). It has nothing to do with the subject.

3. National Socialism did inincorporate many left-wing element including a state-controlled and regulated mixed economy. You know, the kind of economy that many on the left wish we had more of...
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09-03-2012, 07:55 AM
Post: #9
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
This is a topic on why there is a Left-Right schism on Israel. In your last post, you have brought up abortion as a way to define and bash the Right, you’ve called me “trollish” twice, and you’ve given a mocking strawman argument about defining what is “debatable.”

You seem to have a lot to offer for discussion, but your manner of discourse is unacceptable here. You should have no problem finding other internet outlets for this type of combative discussion, but it is not welcome here.

From the rules:

Quote:7. No indirect personal attacks: “Conserberals are either racist or naïve if they believe that”
8. Don’t say insulting things about a doctrine or ideology if you know there are others here who adhere to it. It’s an indirect personal attack. Example: “Republicrats promote an ignorant policy of racism
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09-15-2012, 12:20 AM
Post: #10
RE: Why the Left-Right schism on Israel? (Pat Buchannan not withstanding)
I found an interesting article published on a website for the website for the Alliance for Worker’s Liberty (AWL) titled “Zionism, anti-semitism and the left.” A description of the AWL from their website is given as “The “AWL is an organisation fighting as part of the labour movement for a socialist alternative to both capitalism and Stalinism, based on common ownership and democracy.”

The author seems to believe that anti-Capitalism is a factor with the tendency for some in of the Left to have unfavorable feelings towards Israel. The author is primarily talking about anti-Semitism, though this forum topic is merely about the relative support of Israel versus the Palestinians. I am not equating general support for the Palestinians as being anti-Semitic. However, I do think that it’s plausible that a single factor could encourage support for the Palestinians as well as encourage others to have anti-Semitic feelings. I’m not intending this to be an insulting conclusion about the Left, as I’m sure that equivalent scenarios can be found for the Right.

Here are some quotes that I caught my eye (emphasis mine):

Quote:The way in which anti-semitism is distinguished, and should be distinguished, from racism, has to do with the sort of imaginary of power, attributed to the Jews, Zionism, and Israel, which is at the heart of anti-semitism. The Jews are seen as constituting an immensely powerful, abstract, intangible global form of power that dominates the world. There is nothing similar to this idea at the heart of other forms of racism. Racism rarely, to the best of my knowledge, constitutes a whole system that seeks to explain the world. anti-semitism is a primitive critique of the world, of capitalist modernity….

you have people… who argue that the only thing driving American policy in the Middle East is Israel, as mediated by the Jewish lobby. …I’ve argued elsewhere that this sort of argument is anti-semitic. This has nothing to do with the personal attitudes of the people involved, but the sort of enormous global power it accords the Jews (as, in this case, the puppet-masters of the good-natured, slow-witted, giant, Uncle Sam) is typical for modern anti-semitic thought.

More generally that ideology represents what I call a fetishised form of anti-capitalism. That is, the mysterious power of capital, which is intangible, global, and which churns up nations and areas and people’s lives, is attributed to the Jews. The abstract domination of capitalism is personified as the Jews. Anti-semitism is a revolt against global capital, misrecognized as the Jews. This approach might also help explain the spread of anti-semitism in the Middle East in the past two decades.


I also found this interesting headline from a newspaper from 1927:

Quote:"Communist Paper Calls for Renewal of Fight Against Jewish Bourgeoisie." Jewish Telegraphic Agency 13 Jul 1927.
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