Chasm on the Left: Blame Israel vs. Blame Both

israel_palestine.jpg
Vosizneias

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.


Be the first to comment


Starting a Local Chapter from Scratch (9pm Eastern)

October 04, 2016 · 9 rsvps
Webinar, RSVP required for sign in information

So you are now a member of DSA, but there is no local chapter where you live. You are thinking of starting a local chapter, but you're not quite sure how to do it.

In Starting a Local Chapter from Scratch you will learn:

  • how other locals got started in recent years
  • how to find out who is already a member
  • the importance of a comrade
  • how to recruit new members
  • the importance of a mentor
  • how to become a recognized organizing committee
  • how to become a chartered local
  • what works best to bring new people in.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

Instructor:

  • Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

Training Details:

  1. Workshops are free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have preferably headphones or else speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt talt@igc.org 607-280-7649.
  5. If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt schmittaj@gmail.com 608-355-6568.
  6. You can participate in every webinar or just attend once in a while.
  7. Workshops will generally be on weekends or evenings.
  8. Participation requires that you register at least 45 hours in advance -- by midnight Sunday for Tuesday's webinar.

NOTE: This training is scheduled for 9:00pm Eastern Time (8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific, 5pm Alaska, 3 pm Hawaii).

Share

DSA New Member Orientation Call

October 19, 2016 · 24 rsvps
DSA New Member Orientation

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.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 6 PM MT; 5 PM PT.

Share