The Democratic Danger
by Jonathan Rosenblum
August 29, 2006
Anti-Israel fervor in America still has a long way to go to catch up with that in Europe. No mainstream paper would publish a screed like that of Norwegian novelist Jostein Gaarder in Aftenposten employing ancient anti-Semitism canards to attack Israel and deny its right to exist. Gaarder berates Israel for failing to accept Jesus’ humanizing message and clinging to the primitive law of "an eye for an eye."
But worrying trends are already evident in America, particularly on the Left, and have even greater implications for Israel’s security than comparable trends in Europe. The Democratic primary race in Connecticut between Senator Joseph Lieberman and Ned Lamont was ostensibly a referendum on Lieberman’s support for the war in Iraq. That did not prevent pro-Lamont bloggers, however, from serving up healthy doses of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. Lieberman was accused of supporting the war in Iraq so that American boys would die not Jewish ones. One post on Daily Kos, the most influential Democratic blog, read "Jews only care about the welfare of other Jews . . . ignore all the Jewish propaganda about participating in the civil rights movement of the ‘60s." And a reader at Huffington Post opined that Lieberman "cannot escape the religious bond he represents. His wife’s name is Haggadah or Diaspora or something you eat at Pesach." Another Daily Kos reader described Lieberman as a "racist and religious bigot."
Even more disturbing than the Democratic blog sites is a recent Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll comparing voter attitudes on the war in Lebanon and towards Israel. The Democratic Party, the traditional home of the vast majority of American Jews, is increasingly unfriendly territory for Israel. Though the Democratic Party is traditional political home of American Jews, 54% of Democrats advocate that the United States should adopt a more neutral posture towards Israel versus only 29% of Republicans. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans felt the Israeli bombing in Lebanon was fully justified, as opposed to only 29% of Democrats.
Increasingly, the attitudes of the European Left are those of mainstream Democrats, as was obvious in Senator John Kerry’s recent questioning of America’s ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton. Kerry repeatedly criticized Bolton for the fact that the U.S. is consistently the "odd man out at the U.N." Heaven help Israel, if the United States joins the Europeans at the U.N.
The American Left shares with its European counterparts a naïve Enlightenment belief that all problems can be solved by rational men around a conference table. In that view, there are no irreconcilable goals; all conflict can be resolved by slicing the pie slightly differently. Talk is always good, and military action is always bad.
That is why for the Europeans and the New York Times, it is sufficient to prove that more Lebanese died than Israelis to establish Israel’s guilt. It was left to Binyamin Netanyahu to explain to a BBC interviewer that Germany suffered more casualties in World War II than America and Britain combined.
Terms like good and evil, when applied to nations, fill liberals with disgust. Their worldview cannot comprehend why a nuclear Iran would be any less deterred than the FSU. The impeccable religious logic of the late Ayatollah Khomeini (quoted in Iranian textbooks) – either we will annihilate the infidel powers and become free or we will die trying, and go to the greater freedom of martyrdom – is simply incomprehensible to them. As is the mindset of two young British-born Muslims who planned to blow up a passenger plane by igniting their infant’s baby formula.
Those who assume that all grievances can be assuaged will inevitably fail to comprehend the jihadists’ rage, or assume that it will go away if Israel is offered up on the chopping block. Those who hold such views are a long-range danger to themselves, and an immediate threat to Israel.
Related Topics: Islamofacism & Terrorism
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