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Thread: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    I think it is important for us to distinguish between the pragmatic left and the radical left. While my views in this forum are no secret, I don't believe that everyone left of center (in the Israel/Arab conflict) is a "traitor", "self hating", wishes Israel ill will, etc. I do TRULY believe that there are leftist who believe that their views or solutions to the conflict are what is best for Israel. In my humble opinion, here are some major differences:

    1) pragmatic left: does not believe that Israel is the villain in this conflict, while the Arabs are white and blameless (although they don't believe Israel is blameless either)

    radical left: believes Israeli is the sole villain in this conflict and that the Arabs are virgin white and 100% peace loving people that are only reacting to evil Israel (specifically the evil Zionists)

    2) pragmatic left: is willing to compromise with the Arabs and give away yet more territory (even give up access to some holy sites, which are a bedrock to Jewish holiness and identity) not because it is good for the Arabs, but because it is good for Israel (at least they believe it is good for Israel)

    radical left: believe the Arabs deserve it all, the whole territory from the Mediterranean to the Joran, from Syria to Egypt REALLY belongs to the Arabs and the Jews are really foreigners in this land, but as a "good will" gesture they will let Israel continue to exist on as minimal a piece of land as possible (or call for a "one democratic state" solution)

    3) pragmatic left: condemn boycotts that are blanketly aimed at ALL Israel/is (even if some, but not all, of them are in favor of boycotting products from Judea and Samaria)

    radical left: enthusiastically join boycotts with those who call for boycotting all Israeli professors, products, etc.

    4) pragmatic left: condemn those who refuse IDF service (even those who refuse to serve in the "territories" alone) and continue to serve themselves

    radical left: call on EVERYONE to refuse ALL kinds of IDF service, no matter where and in what capacity

    5) pragmatic left: ready to defend the top brass in the IDF, as well as other politicians, who are threatened with being tried for war crimes for operations, such as Cast Lead. This does not mean they are against investigating any wrongs committed in operations that might have been done by mistake or intentionally to make the IDF a better and more humane military than they are now

    radical left: basically believe the IDF can never do any right and enthusiastically join Israel's enemies in calling for IDF officers and other politicians to be tried for war crimes, as well as knee-jerkingly condemning any operation by the IDF against threats to Israel's security, whether preventative or as retaliation

    I am sure I have not covered all the differences, but these are the core. So, no, I don't believe all leftists have it in for Israel.
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    You're a former American. You probably remember the Henry Jackson left, the anti Communist left, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan left. The people who stood for what we now call John Stuart Mill Liberalism but that the radical left calls fascism or neocon so and so. In the US at any rate that left is pretty scarce. We're hated by the left and right because we're not ideological glint eyed fanatics.

    I suspect though that if Israel makes any progress at all it may come from the 'pragmatic left' - since, as they said 'Only Nixon could go to China' in other words you need someone with one foot sort of in that camp to even get a fair hearing. It doesn't matter what Bibi says is entirely sane. And it doesn't matter that Obama hates him personally. The west hates everything to the right of left vis a vis Israel anyhow. Of course Obama forgets that except for Bibi, Begin and Shamir EVERY Israeli government was left, some of them pretty far left. And that didn't get them anywhere with the US. But it's a talking point. It's what they chatter about on MSNBC. It's blog-worthy.

    The upside of this is that sane people all for the most, agree what a final agreement will look like. Left, right, makes no difference. If it has to come from the left side of the political spectrum, so what? If that government starts to believe their own advertising and suddenly tries to become a new socialist workers paradise they'll get quickly kicked out of office anyhow. In the meantime stupid American and Quartet representatives got to have their left wing love dance with an Israeli administration they imagine is half Weather Underground and half hippie stoners. The peace sign and the hand grenade (Nick Cohen's imagery).

    But the radicals are always radical. And that's not always a bad thing because it forces them to take themselves out of the game. In the US the 'progressive' far left is so in love with their own love of themselves and their self professed ideological purity that they never argue, never compromise, never enter into the political process at all. That would sully them and dirty their hands. All they want is to stand on the sidelines screaming. We needn't take what they say into consideration as a result. I doubt very much whether Israelis have to take what the far left there into consideration either. Just leave the trust fund anarchists and faux Marxist idiots alone. Or send them all to live in Gaza. Either way, they are probably not all that important even for a dysfunctional electoral system like yours.

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    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    I realized three more differences I left out after I posted:

    6) pragmatic left: Still considers it important for Israel to remain a "Jewish State"

    radical left: the idea of a "Jewish State" makes them want to vomit (even w/o the issue of territorial arguments with the Arabs)

    7) pragmatic left: does not hate "settlers" and sympathizes with them to an extent (i.e. to the possibility or reality, like those of the Gaza strip and Northern Samaria, who might or did lose their homes)

    radical left: hate "settlers" with a passion and ALL settlers have whatever happens to them coming to them

    8) pragmatic left: do NOT single out Israel in their criticism; also express their disgust at humans rights abuses around the world (including Syria, Egypt, China, North Korea, Turkey, etc.)

    radical left: are obsessed with Israel, while the other countries around the world with humans rights abuses far worse get a free pass
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    Aliyah

    I must say that even the ones who we would tend to classify as pragmatic, can be exasperating. In their anxiety to please the Arabs, they act like the thought police and they get upset if one uses the wrong terminology. For instance, they demand that we should use the term Palestinian instead of Arab and they get uppity if you don't. Moreover, they have the capacity to make some outrageous declarations. For instance, one of the sheilas made the following pompous declaration: If only we could use the right language with them [the Arabs] we might not make enemies of them. Or something like it anyway ...

    Really, sometimes I have to say to myself, easy stomach. I know they mean well but really... And to top it off, they have no hesitation to use the most outrageous language against Israel. They take delight in talking about apartheid laws etc. I got to respect one of this guys but recently he took to use incendiary language like fascist and apartheid. And I am having second thoughts about him. They get carried away with their own hyperbole.
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

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    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    Reffo, you reminded me of another difference I missed:

    9) pragmatic left: while they might consider life in Judea and Samaria for the Arabs apartheid like, they, for the most part, are not jumping on the "Israel (within the "green line") is apartheid" bandwagon

    radical left: ALL Israel (whether within the "green line" or over) is apartheid....
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Senior Member Pleepleus's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    I am a leftist and I support the right of Jews to live in all of their ancestral homeland, most especially Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Thank you Aliyah1995 for punching some holes in stereotypes.

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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    Pleepleus

    I would call you a sensible leftie. I know there are plenty of you. Welcome to the forum.
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    Is it just an identity crisis that drives the far left? It seems that their views are exactly what one would expect of a far right arab.
    In the 70's in England as the Jamaican population bagan to gain some accetance, gangs of mixed race youths adopted rastafarianism. None spoke with a broader Jamaican accent or sported the fashion more devotedly than the white guys.
    Some people get their fix from just being bloody contrary.

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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    Political views (like everything else in life) are more of a scale, rather then true/false Boolean flag.
    I consider myself a rather moderate pragmatic leftie, yet I would answer to some of the points like a "radical".
    I also think this is true on the other side: there is a pragmatic and extreme right wing, and we can devise a list of points that differentiate between the two extremes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between the pragmatic left and the radical left....

    Agreed Sharon....
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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