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June 30, 2010

The Enigma of Liberal Intolerance

Sharon Cobb posts a retort to those who suggest she lost her "liberal" credentials by choosing to support Israel.

I have found, through the years, a consistent intolerance from liberals about me being pro Israel and ignoring all of my liberal credentials.

...It's like there is a litany test to pass before one can call herself a liberal, and if she is pro Israel, then all of her "liberal work" is negated....

...the question isn't how can I be a liberal and pro Israel, but how can you call yourself a liberal and be pro Gaza?

Read her excellent post here.

Posted by RH at June 30, 2010 03:56 PM


This is crazy. I am old enough to remember when liberals normally supported Israel and conservatives were usually antediluvian anti-semites. I still am, like Ed Koch, Alan Dershowitz, and most other American Jews, both liberal and Zionist. There's no contradiction. Liberalism represents both our economic interests and our sense of justice. Zionism is also justice, long overdue to the Jewish people. We benefited greatly from the New Deal, Great Society, civil rights legislation, and all those government jobs. Liberal, not the fellow-traveling Left. Since when has liberal gotten conflated with ultra-lefty?

Just because some liberals and ultra-lefties have gone off track about Israel doesn't mean that they have taken control of liberalism in the United States. We need to correct them and fight them if need be. We need to support our liberal friends (both Jewish and non-Jewish) in public office and the media. Not abandon liberalism and retreat into ghettos, as the neo-cons want us to do. We're not all rich and smug like the neo-cons. It is in the interests of the American Jewish community and Israel that liberalism not be abandoned to the left-wing anti-semites.

Posted by: Shlomo at June 30, 2010 06:00 PM

I agree with Shlomo.

In addition:
I do not believe there is a litmus test of where you stand on Israel for being liberal.
Here are what I consider to be my liberal credentials.

1. I call myself liberal.
2. I have never voted republican in my life.
3. I am for equal rights for gays.
4. I am for affirmative action (for poor people).
5. I am for socialized medicine.
6. I believe that global warming is man made and is destroying our ability to live on the planet.
7. I believe that conservation and alternative energy are the number 1 issues today.
8. I am against the death penalty.
9. I support labor unions.
10. I fully support Israel, in fighting (militarily and diplomatically) for its survival.
11. I am against Sharia law driven societies like Gaza, Iran, and Saudi Arabia (see number 7).
12. I believe that the Western World is at war with Islamic extremists (but is not fully aware of this).
13. I morally support Israel as the an advanced democracy with liberal laws and thought in the middle of a region where repressive dictatorships reign supreme.


Posted by: Stan at July 1, 2010 03:05 PM

I am a conservative, and I am also a staunch supporter of Israel.

Posted by: Bill at July 6, 2010 02:31 AM

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