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Author Topic: Israel's friends have moved left to right
Can-Am
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posted 03 February 2003 12:26 PM      Profile for Can-Am     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First off, I know many people here are not going to be too happy about the source of this article (National Post). But if it's possible to look past that for a moment, the actual subject matter here seems to me both relevent and timely for this forum. Also Robert Fulford is at least not a nutcase, even if he is from the Right.

I'll confess I don't know that much about Israel's socialist roots, and I'm curious to see the reactions of some of the more knowledgeable babblers.

quote:
Young people find this hard to imagine, but Israel once looked to the leftists of the world for support -- and the leftists of the world considered Israel a progressive nation. Modern Israel began its life in 1948 with strong socialist credentials. The words "Labour" and "Zionist" went together naturally, and socialists of every kind took a friendly interest; the kibbutz experiment, for example, was watched with admiration and curiosity wherever egalitarian idealists dreamt of new social forms. Young Gentiles who considered themselves progressive often went to Israel to work as volunteers.

Israel's friends have moved left to right



From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 03 February 2003 12:32 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From the linked article:

quote:
To Canadian leftists, Israel looks like part of the hated American empire. Israel, in fact, could easily reclaim leftist support in this country by becoming anti-American. Better, if Washington became anti-Israel, our leftists would discover a multitude of Israeli virtues that now go unnoticed.

Another piece of tortured reasoning designed to deflect attention from the criticisms and smear the critics instead.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 03 February 2003 12:35 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No surprise here. Israel's "friends" haved tended to move left to right as Israel has moved left to right. And I wonder the value of "friends" who are more like sychophants and who have other agendas.

BTW, this should probably be in the mideast forum.


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Can-Am
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posted 03 February 2003 12:46 PM      Profile for Can-Am     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Another piece of tortured reasoning

Agreed. Baseless conjecture.

quote:
BTW, this should probably be in the mideast forum.

Hmm. I suppose you're right. I'm a newbie here I just noticed all the other categories since you mentioned it. I'll be more careful in the future.

[ 03 February 2003: Message edited by: Can-Am ]


From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 February 2003 12:59 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Also, I should think, untrue of most of the left, the leftists I know, anyway, and certainly most of the regular posters on babble, whose distress over the occupation seems to me genuine distress over the occupation.

Fulford is not an objective critic, not of the left and not of Israel/Palestine.

His animus against particular political groupings in Canada was most in evidence two (?) days after 11 September, when his first published reaction to the horror of that day was a column attacking Canadian nationalists (!), claiming that the nationalist left of the late 1960s had made mindlessly fashionable in Canada a kind of anti-Americanism that -- Fulford claimed -- was equivalent to teaching young Saudis how to fly large airplanes.

The example of such a nationalist he chose to illustrate his argument was the painter Greg Curnoe, conveniently (from Fulford's point of view) dead (you can't libel the dead). But we can all think of lots of names, most of them Fulford betes noires, who must have been the real targets of that column.

A day or so later, the Post had to publish an anguished letter from Curnoe's sister, whose adult daughter lives in NYC and was still traumatized by the attacks, asking why her family should have been so singled out for smearing at such an awful time for everyone ...

I think Fulford is deeply dishonest. He comes at his targets obliquely. He's afraid to take on the real powerhouses he detests, so he simply snarks away at substitutes. He insinuates. He smirks. He winks.

If he ever deserved the reputation he now seems to have, it was for work long since done, far in the past. He is parti pris, has been for some years now -- and his party is Conrad and Izzy and friends.

Shame.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 03 February 2003 01:07 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You're right josh - off to the Middle East forum this goes!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Can-Am
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posted 03 February 2003 01:23 PM      Profile for Can-Am     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Fulford is not an objective critic

Perhaps not. I don't read him often so I don't know. This article just seemed to me to be at least rational, even if we disagree with him.

I guess my intent in posting this was to gauge whether or not it is true:

A. That Israel's "friends" -- whoever they may be -- have migrated rightward and

B. how much Israel itself has migrated to the right.

On point B, obviously Sharon is a right-wing extremist. But I believe that the author's point about Israel being the sole Middle Eastern state to at least attempt compliance with many of the Left's fundamental tenets (women's rights, gay rights, free elections, existence of labour unions, etc.) is perfectly valid and often dismissed by some people who want to portray Israel as though it was nothing more than a totalitarian oppressor.

Occupation. As skdadl points out that seems to be the gist of the matter for many people. It no doubt is today, but it must be remembered that the animus against Israel by other ME states long pre-dates the occupation of the West Bank, etc. There is very little evidence that a complete pullback to pre-1967 borders (which I support) would end hostilities. Arafat no longer even pretends to hide what he means when he says he is fighting for "greater Palestine" (just look at the arm-patch on his uniform!).

Finally, I am really interested in hearing more about the early socialist experimentation in Israel. What ever happened to the kibbutz system? Why was it dismantled? If Israel had instead slid to the Left and was today a fully socialist (or at least more socialist) state, how would that affect the tensions with her neighbours, if at all?

[ 03 February 2003: Message edited by: Can-Am ]


From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 03 February 2003 01:43 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If Israel had instead slid to the Left and was today a fully socialist (or at least more socialist) state, how would that affect the tensions with her neighbours, if at all?

Without a fundamental change in the way Palestininians and Israelis view each other, I think any difference between a right or left Israel would be purely cosmetic.

For me, the big question is how would things be different if Rabin had lived?

This too is a speculative question and I'm not sure how much is gained from asking "what if?"

[ 03 February 2003: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 03 February 2003 03:20 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The point at which Israel began to be estranged from the left (or at least the mainstream social democratic left) was 1967. If Israel was truly a left wing state with socialist values it would not have become an occupying force in the West Bank and Gaza, not moved in settlements, but have allowed the Palestinians to set up their own state or at least their own self government (before 1967, Jordan and Egypt occupied the West Bank and Gaza respectively and did nothing to allow for Palestinian self government). Also, had Israel truly been a left wing state the Israeli Arabs would have been given full equal political and economic rights at the outset and not have been treated as aliens. In other words, the elements of today's conflict would not exist. Fulford is using blind rhetoric without any regard for the meanings of the terms he uses.

There was an interesting book a few years ago that examined year one of the state of Israel, when Mapai and Mapam were the main contenders for power (the Revisionists of Betar/Irgun being a minor force). Mapai, led by Ben Gurion, (later the Labour Party) tilted towards the west and the US in the Cold War, Mapam, which later became Meretz, tilted until the mid-1950s towards the Soviet Union. It also had favoured a "binational state" in the 1940s rejecting the Biltmore Programme which all other Zionist parties agreed to calling for a Jewish state.

Certainly, had Mapam been the largest party and the chief party of government after 1948 the history of the state would have been much different.

[ 03 February 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
rubble
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posted 03 February 2003 04:18 PM      Profile for rubble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
both relevent and timely
Huh? Don’t get me on a rant.
quote:
Robert Fulford is at least not a nutcase
You have to be to work for the National Post.
No it’s not possible to look past it for a moment. Typical "National Post", run around. I guess IZZY approved this one.
quote:
Modern Israel began its life in 1948 with strong socialist credentials. The words "Labour" and "Zionist" went together naturally...
Modern and Zionist in the same paragraph, I think I'm going to puke. There is no natual fusion when Zionism is an ingredient.
quote:
David Frum explains in The Right Man, Bush sees supporters of Palestinian bombers, including Yasser Arafat, as terrorists, therefore America's enemies. He views Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's response to Palestinian killings as understandable. Bush apparently sees, as few non-Israelis do, that Israel can't afford to lose this war
I didn't know there are winners. A biased opinion by David Frum, but what else would you expect from David. He's no different than Steyn.
quote:
At this point Israel desperately needs foreign friendship
I don't see why... they have Big Dubbya on their side and that's all they need.
quote:
It decided to believe that the Palestinian leaders were serious about peace
We know they were, but was Israel?

quote:
Israelis often accuse European socialists of abandoning them for the sake of Arab oil
Only the U.S. can keep Both Israel and Oil equal priorities

quote:
To Canadian leftists, Israel looks like part of the hated American empire

The guilt for not liking Israel means you hate America too! Get a grip

quote:
Israel remains the only Middle East country trying to live by principles the left claims to embrace, including freedom of speech, religion, sexuality, and collective bargaining

Who are you trying to kid ?

quote:
since Robinson is a gay activist... about 600 gay Palestinian refugees are said to be living underground in Tel Aviv

Just the fact that they are questioning "How can Svend Robinson support a governement that oppresses gay's" Is an attempt to discredit any support given to the Palestinians.

quote:
We are only a tiny Jewish state and there are over 20 Arab states

I guess it's the fact that they are Arab states, not Isreali.


From: Earth | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 03 February 2003 04:56 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Perhaps not. I don't read him often so I don't know. This article just seemed to me to be at least rational, even if we disagree with him.


Rationality plays no role when it comes to the Middle East

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 February 2003 05:00 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Rationality plays no role when it comes to the Middle East

A convenient fiction.


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 03 February 2003 05:02 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To you its fiction but to those who have watched the tragedy in the Middle East unfold rationality has become a victim.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 February 2003 05:03 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is an intellectual cop-out.
From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 03 February 2003 05:08 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To you it ius a cop-out to those who have followed the tragedy in the Middle East it is inexplicable
From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 February 2003 05:17 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Do you consider yourself a rational peson?
From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 03 February 2003 05:19 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Do you consider yourself a rational person? MD no one is interested in this personal stuff between you and I. If you want to continue it I urge you to do so through the PM network. Let's not add to thread drift any more than has already occured.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 February 2003 05:21 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes I consider myself a rational person. As you also consder yourself a rational person, but I am just confirming the fact to make a point, so please oblige me if you will, for my sake. Are you a rational person?
From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 03 February 2003 06:16 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmm. Well, if Israel rejected America or America rejected Israel, Israel would probably be forced to discontinue the occupation. Israel really needs the money it gets from America. So yeah, I suppose the left would support it more. How about that.

As for rationality or lack thereof, I don't think this will get any better if people don't behave rationally. It's not rational to want to bleed and die for a piece of land. It's not rational to refuse to share. It's not rational to believe that subjecting people to daily humiliations will make them peaceful and compliant. It's especially not rational to expect that if you just behave horribly enough, all the people of the race you object to will pack up and leave. It's not going to happen.

What is rational is realising that you can't have everything you want and doing everything you can to minimize the pain, the terror, and the killing. My dad once compared this situation to a really bitter divorce, which of course is a trivialization, but there's some truth in it: it won't get better unless people accept that they're not going to get everything they want.

[ 03 February 2003: Message edited by: Smith ]


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 03 February 2003 07:56 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On leftism and Israel: It is to be noted that Ze'ev Sternhell's book makes the case that the early beginnings of Israel were indeed quite full of promise for a socialist or at least quite leftist state. The idea was, as had been done in the Soviet Union, was "socialism in one country", but by fitting it within the context of the Zionist fulfillment of the desire for the regaining of Israel for Jews.

Sternhell has termed this ideology "nationalist socialism". The beginning promises of creating a socialist state in Israel, however, foundered when it became clear that Ben-Gurion had no intention of putting forth the agenda desired by the then-leaders of the Histadrut, Israel's then-predominant labor union.

It is still to be noted that for reasons related to US support, Jewish culture, and others, there is a great deal of tolerance (by the US - and I mean in the sense of extending "cover" to Israel so that big corporations will not use the threat of withdrawing investment to sabotage Israel's government as such corporations did to British Columbia) for Israel's heavily interventionist government, as even today marginal tax rates are such that they would make any rich person in the USA scream and yell bloody murder if the US imposed them tomorrow.

[ 03 February 2003: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 03 February 2003 10:14 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mishei, thepoint was this, very simple one:

If you are a rational person, and the subject you are approachig is irrational, why discuss it? Why post, why anything?


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 03 February 2003 10:43 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moredreads, I see what you're getting at, but I think it would be best to drop it. There's actually a pretty good discussion going on here without Mishei.
From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
satana
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posted 04 February 2003 04:24 AM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Socialism is worthless to me if human rights aren't respected. An anti-socialist religious monarchy that respects human rights is still preferable to a socialist secular democracy that doesn't.

Whatever socialist roots Israel may have had it is still based on a supremacist ideology. And as Mishei illustartes supremacism is not very rational. Israel is meant to be a Jewish state for the Jewish people to the exclusion of non-Jews. Israel has succesfully ethnically cleansed its current territory of its Arab majority in order to create the Jewish state. That is the reason there is animus towards Israel.

Israel needs the US. It serves American intrerests in exchange for protection. American dominance in the region is the only thing keeping Zionists from continuing the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and creating an economically independeant state with secure borders. The US uses the Palestinians to contain Israeli power. Zionists are willing to compromise their ideal and give in to US pressure to protect the supremacist state they have now. God bless America.

[spelling]

[ 04 February 2003: Message edited by: satana ]


From: far away | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 04 February 2003 06:02 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Israel needs the US. It serves American intrerests in exchange for protection. American dominance in the region is the only thing keeping Zionists from continuing the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and creating an economically independeant state with secure borders. The US uses the Palestinians to contain Israeli power. Zionists are willing to compromise their ideal and give in to US pressure to protect the supremasist state they have now . God bless America.

I'm sorry, can you explain that a bit? If American dominance is keeping the radical/violent Zionists from cleansing all the Palestinians and creating an economically independent state, why do they put up with it?


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
satana
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posted 04 February 2003 08:06 AM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, for now, here's an informative article. Its a little old but its an excellent analysis of the US's strategic interest in Israel.
From: far away | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 04 February 2003 11:05 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

That is awful!

How can anyone support that shit? It's almost ruined Israel, and it's turning the Middle East into a powderkeg, and yet the USA is supposed to be Israel's greatest friend?

Hooooly shit. You know, when Mr. Magoo pointed out that anti-Israel sentiment might be a cover for anti-Americanism, I thought that made sense, more than it being a cover for antisemitism, but now I think that anti-Americanism is richly deserved. And 35% of GNP spent on the military? If Canada did that, we'd almost be able to compete with the US...Christ, no wonder their economy is going to shit.


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 04 February 2003 11:09 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Military spending is the USA's inefficient mechanism for retaining the government as the employer of last resort. Israel's government had adopted, probably unconsciously, much the same strategy.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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