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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

8 reasons leftists should be pro-Israel (HuffPo)

Excerpts of an article by Alan Krinsky:

If my fellow Leftists or even Liberals think that the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement will help bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as peace to the Middle East and harmony to the community of nations, they are sadly mistaken. There is a difference betweencriticism and demonization, and the campaign against Israel is of the latter type. Criticism, and there is much of it within Israel's own healthy democracy, can result in positive change. But the focused attempt to demonize Israel, not undertaken against any other nation, is aimed at delegitimizing Israel and undermining its very existence, as if the problems of the world were the fault of the Israelis -- the fault of the Jews -- and if they would only go away, all would be better.
Not only is this a sorry illusion, but this concerted assault on Israel itself betrays the principles of the Left.
Here, then, are 8 reasons Leftists should be Pro-Israel (or, at least, Pro-Peace rather than Anti-Israel):
1. Human Rights. The Left fights for human rights in the world. Even if one thinks Israel or its soldiers guilty of human rights violations (and I am not willing at the outset to grant this point), there is no international or historical comparison that could reasonably rank Israel among the worst criminals of the world or of history....If we support human rights and oppose persecution, ought we not first to focus our efforts on the places where we find the worst situations? 
2. Internationalism. Leftists tend to support internationalism. One would think that the United Nations would be the world body most dedicated to furthering this aim. But how is it that Israel, this small nation, has become such a central concern? From 2003-2010, there have been more than 900 human rights actions against Israel at the U.N.; the next closest is Sudan at just under 400. Israel is the only member of the U.N. to be excluded from any of the five regional groups. And should not all on the Left oppose the absurdity of the so-called Human Rights Council, whose members include such paragons of humanitarianism as China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Kyrgyzstan?
3. Peace. Leftists want peace. In the Middle East and elsewhere. The polls make clear that, overwhelmingly, Israelis desire peace with their neighbors; the difficult sacrifices, including the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza make this evident. Israelis are prepared for a secure, two-state solution, to live side-by-side in peace. Meanwhile, the stated goal of its enemies is to end its existence. A simple thought-experiment should make the matter starkly clear: If tomorrow Hamas and other Palestinian groups unilaterally put down their weapons, what would follow? Peace. If Israelis unilaterally put down their weapons, what would follow? Millions of dead or exiled Jews.Anyone on the Left who does not recognize this is living in denial. 
Read the whole thing.