Chasm on the Left: Blame Israel vs. Blame Both


Many leftists "unfriended" each other this summer over the Gaza War, and Myriam Miedzian gives background on the conflict abroad and at home. (Eds.)

By Myriam Miedzian

It's that time again when I am careful not to utter the words “Israel, Palestinians, Gaza” to a certain number of my leftwing friends and acquaintances. We agree on just about everything going as far back as the Vietnam war, which we all vehemently opposed — as we did the Iraq war. We supported equal rights for blacks, women, and gays, rooted for single-payer, universal healthcare, support living wages for all Americans and access to college education for all, etc.

So why are we so at odds when it comes to this one issue? Well, we do agree on one thing — we all reject AIPAC’s “Israel Can Do No Wrong” perspective.

But that still leave us with a chasm. On one side there is the Blame Israel (B.I.) group — represented by Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink, among others — and on the other side the Blame Both (B.B.) group, represented by Americans for Peace Now and J Street, among others.

Like most categorizations, this one simplifies — the lines are not always entirely clear cut; there are disagreements within each group and people on the fringes of both. Nevertheless the rift is striking. Frustrated by it, I have spent  hours visiting websites on both sides, gone back to key books — Noam Chomsky, Benny Morris, etc. — and gleaned key, underlying, opposing assumptions, perspectives, interpretations, and historical understandings from these documents. I have also relied on lectures and conferences I have attended, as well as conversations with friends and acquaintances.

What follows is first an outline of some divisive underlying issues, and then links to a few of the books, articles, and blogs which have influenced my understanding of what divides the two groups.

 To read more, click here.

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership.

The DSA position on the current conflict is here.

 Democratic Left blog post submission guidelines can be found here.

Talking About Socialism Webinar

March 25, 2018

This training is at 7:00 pm ET, 6:00 pm CT, 5:00 pm MT, 4:00 pm PT

Click here to RSVP

Join Steve Max, a founder of the legendary community organizing school, the Midwest Academy, to practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table or canvass. This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources. Questions? Contact Theresa Alt <> 607-280-7649.

Click here to RSVP

NEC Training on Field

March 28, 2018

8pm ET/7pm CT/ 6pm MT/5pm PST

Click here to RSVP

DSA NEC Training Committee members Jasmin Oppenheimer and Tootie Welker will discuss how to run field operations over the course of an electoral campaign.

Click here to RSVP

New Member Call

April 08, 2018

8pm ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT

Click to RSVP

You've joined DSA - Great! Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision. And, most importantly, how you can become involved.

Questions or Comments? Contact: 
Barbara Joye

Click to RSVP