Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guest Post: When the Right is Right About the Left

Avi Mayer on Twitter linked to this interesting essay, pertinent to what we do on here:
"Let me start with my bona fides. For several years, and at significant personal cost, I have spoken out about Israeli policies in the West Bank, in particular the settlements and the route of the separation barrier, which I deem to be generally illegal, immoral and harmful to both Israelis and Palestinians. I am also a longtime activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and have supported those in my community who protest Israel’s policies — including by calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions, which I do not support — on the basis of a shared solidarity with those who are oppressed. And an essay I wrote in these pages a few years ago on my wavering love for Israel still gets plenty of airtime and plenty of nasty comments.

I begin with these left-wing credentials because my aim in this column is to call out my liberal colleagues on certain of our blind spots and try to communicate to fellow progressives when, in my view, their criticism of Israel becomes deeply problematic — even, dare I say it, anti-Semitic. I do so because, just as I am uncomfortable in Jewish nationalist circles where people routinely make racist, violent and ethnocentric remarks (and where those remarks support real-world policies with real effects on real people), so, too, I am uncomfortable in left-wing circles where some people evince a casual disregard for the legitimate concerns of Israelis and Jews, for the very real and very deep problems on the Palestinian side, and even for the truth."

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