Why Jews Are Fleeing the Progressive Left and Democratic Party
by Michael Lumish
The progressive movement’s main claim to political legitimacy is a moral claim. The movement claims to stand for social justice and equality of rights throughout the world. But if the Left has quietly abandoned that ideal — which it has — then it loses both moral and political legitimacy. After all, if it does not stand for universal human rights, then just what does it stand for?
The sad truth is that the Left has abandoned its core reason to be. By holding different people, and different countries, to different moral standards, it has effectively abandoned its alleged core values. One cannot claim to stand for social justice, after all, if you only care about social justice for some people, but not others. If you constantly speak out against supposed Israeli human rights abuses but remain silent about the truly horrific situations in Darfur or Congo or Syria, then you cannot claim to stand for universal human rights.
This is the situation that we find ourselves in, and it is partly the reason why many Jews are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. Most diaspora Jewish supporters of Israel are people who, at one time, considered themselves on the progressive Left. Certainly, I did. As someone who grew up in the political aftermath of the counterculture and the New Left, I was impressed with the ideals of those movements.
Ye today, the Left has essentially broken itself on Israel’s back and they don’t even know it yet.
The Palestinians refuse to negotiate a peaceful conclusion of hostilities and the Left blames Israel. The Gazans shot thousands of rockets into southern Israel for years, but the progressives only spoke up when Israel sought to defend its citizens from those rockets. Did the progressive movement have anything to say about the Fogel family murders? No, it did not. Does the progressive movement have anything to say about Hamas’s genocidal charter or the larger Jihadi movement out of which Hamas sprang?
No. It does not.
The left can barely even bring itself to condemn ISIS.
For me, personally, the real wake-up call came during the Mavi Marmara incident in May of 2010. There were two groups of people aboard that vessel. There were the violent Jihadis seeking martyrdom, whom progressives referred to as “peace activists.” And the second group? Well, they definitely weren’t Tea Party people. They were, in fact, progressive Left activists from around the world. They were literally, physically, morally, and financially supporting Jihadis in an effort to kill Jews, while telling the world that their mission was a humanitarian one.
The irony and cruel hypocrisy could not be more rich.
So, just why would they expect Jewish people to remain a part of such a political movement? The progressive Left may have been our home for a very long time, but clearly their values have shifted. Most Jews don’t really get it, yet, but people are awakening. There are reasons why more and more of us are leaving the Democratic party and the progressive movement.
Because the progressive Left accepts, if not encourages, generalized malice toward the Jewish state, it thereby shows the rest of us the door.
I say we walk through it.