Tuesday, August 08, 2006

One, Two, Three: AWWWWW!

I have waited a long time to see this, and I am enjoying it immensely. The far left is complaining tht they are not receiving enough coverage in the media, as explained here in the Jerusalem Post.

According to the protesters, they have held demonstrations all over and have received just a few lines in Haaretz and no coverage at all in the other papers.

An explanation for this phenomenon has been given - that the "mainstream left" (I put it into parenthesis because I am not familiar enough with each left wing group to judge) such as Peace Now and the Meretz party have not called for protests. The groups protesting now are Gush Shalom, the Hadash Party (communists?), and Women Against Violence (which only protest against violence against terrorists apparently).

Abir Kopty is quoted in the article as saying that the rocket fire in Haifa will only convince more people to join their protests.

I'm a bit skeptical about the her theory. The protest that was scheduled for Haifa was cancelled because of the danger of Katyushas.

Note to readers: I will be taking my kids to Savta's house today, so no more blogging until tomorrow. For up-to-the-minute updates check out Jameel at the Muqata.


Blogger Don Radlauer said...

I'm not an expert on all the flavors of Israeli leftism either; but I can confirm (not as a member - I'm a raging centrist!) that Peace Now and Meretz are indeed considered to be "mainstream" or Zionist leftists. That is, they may not agree with you or me about settlements or a lot of other issues, but they do believe in the need for Israel to exist as a Jewish state.

For such groups, Hezbollah's unprovoked attack on Israel across an internationally recognized border represents a major affront - especially since a lot of their "stock in trade" is that withdrawing our forces and settlements to a recognized border will improve Israel's security. They argue (and, in my opinion, their argument has some merit) that once we've got borders that are internationally recognized, we will be free to respond much more forcefully to violations of such borders - and thus that Israel's deterrence will be much stronger.

In my opinion, recent events have proven these groups to be half-correct: The recent cross-border attacks from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon drew vigorous (and ongoing) Israel responses, and yet we received far less international condemnation than we have in the past for less-severe military actions. So the good news is that recognized borders genuinely do give us more latitude to respond forcefully when these borders are violated. The bad news, however, is that Israel's ability to respond forcefully and with considerable impunity to cross-border attacks has not yet proven to have any noticeable effect in increasing our deterrence. This may be simply a matter of time; perhaps Israel's current actions will indeed have a deterrent effect in the future. On the other hand, it may be that some of our adversaries are so fixated on "martyrdom" and so wedded to life in fantasyland that they are essentially defeat-proof: they simply don't know or care when they're beaten. It's awfully hard to deter a masochist!

2:12 PM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Addendum: I want to clarify one point. I said that Meretz and other elements of the Zionist Left "believe in the need for Israel to exist as a Jewish state" - which is true enough. But I should have added that there is considerable disagreement on exactly what a "Jewish state" is! Needless to say, Meretz's idea of a Jewish state is not exactly the same as mine; for that matter, my idea of a Jewish state is probably rather different from yours!

The distinction I wanted to make was between groups like Meretz that - while they are certainly leftists - fit under the umbrella of Zionism as broadly defined; and other groups that genuinely disbelieve in the need for, and the morality of, Israel as a Jewish state.

It seems that no matter how far to the Left someone is, there's always someone further out who thinks you're a fascist. This reminds me of something I learned from spending time with friends in Bnei Brak: No matter how observant you are, no matter how careful you are about kashrut, there's always someone who won't eat food prepared in your kitchen!

2:22 PM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Yay Don is back!

Hadash are indeed communists. They always won the prize for the most ridiculous speech at any rally - I used to think I was back in college, what with all the Marx and Engels flying around.

And the Coalition of Women for Peace (Gil's mistake, I think, unless he meant "Women Against Violence", the Nazareth Rape Crisis Center) spokesperson's name is Abir Kopty. And on the scale, it doesn't get much lefter than them.

I have a feeling that the journalist wrote this article exactly to engender a response such as yours...

2:44 PM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Hi PP - and thanks for the welcome!

I failed to blog for over two months - I was busy with other things, mostly, and lacking sufficient inspiration, and also, perhaps, a bit lazy. I got kicked back into "writing mode" by AllExperts.com: when the Lebanon war started, all of a sudden I started getting a lot of questions (which I couldn't dodge without getting kicked of AllExperts), and some of the responses were basically blog posts - so I started posting again.

So much for having a life... (g)

5:50 PM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

Don - I am also happy to see you back, and your comment was very informative. As to your comment about the differences in religious observance, westbankpappa has a saying that "everyone to the right of me (religiously) is a fanatic and everyone to the left is a goy" which unfortunately too many people believe. As baalei teshuva, we try hard not to fall into that mindtrap, but unfortunately the need to feel right is very strong, and we sometimes fail.

Tafka - This may sound silly, but at the end of the war I would really like to see a summary of who on the left thought what during the war, (a "who's who post) so that when I read them in the future I will have a better idea of where they are coming from. A similar who's who of journalists would also be helpful.

7:37 AM, August 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WestBankPapa here -

My point is that EVERYONE at every point along the continuum of observance is saying the same thing to their immediate neighbors on the continuum - *you're* a goy, and *you're* a fanatic.

It follows that each of us is somebody's "goy", and somebody's "fanatic".

12:31 PM, August 09, 2006  
Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Hi WestBankMama and WestBankPapa -

Your point about each of us being someone's "goy" and someone's "fanatic" is a very good one - and one that more Israelis, in particular, should have tattooed to the inside of their eyelids (metaphorically thinking, of course).

To some degree the same is true of Zionism: that is, there is a fairly broad spectrum of what can correctly be considered Zionism, from people who would withdraw unconditionally to the Green Line to people who would expel all Palestinians from the Territories and even attempt to extend Israel to parts of the East Bank of the Jordan River. All that the word "Zionism" really means, after all, is the belief that the Jews should have a nation-state of their own; everything else is detail.

There are, of course, plenty of non- or anti-Zionists among Israeli Jews: people who really don't believe in nation-states at all, or for some reason just don't believe that the Jews should have their own nation-state. The difference between these people and the Zionist Left is an important one. In the case of the Zionist Left, the argument is essentially one of policy: what's best for Israel in the long run. "What's best" may, of course, include moral considerations (such as the negative influences of occupation on the occupier) as well as strictly strategic ones (such as the value of high ground, buffer zones, and aquifers). But when dealing with the anti- or non-Zionists, the argument isn't about policy at all; it's about fundamental premises involving nationalism in general or the nature and purpose of the Jews in particular.

What I find fascinating in all this is that with such a broad spectrum of viewpoints to choose from in both religion and politics, my own beliefs are so amazingly well-balanced and correct! (g)

12:55 PM, August 09, 2006  
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