But their one-trick, pathos-laden tactic benefits from the fact that those who use it also have a near sociopathic ability to ignore any and all information they don’t want to hear themselves (or, more importantly, to have others hear). [Ed. Emphasis added]Today in the Forward, Jay Michaelson, who is does not support BDS, but has, "in solidarity with the oppressed", supported those who do... also noticed the intellectual dishonesty of their tactics. While this is piece is not about BDS specifically as it relates to the whole spectrum of anti-Israel activism on the left it is still very instructive.
Yet, many times, left-wing critics of Israel pretend to speak out about this or that human rights abuse, while really, they have no vision for the future other than Israel not existing at all. I find myself supporting one cause (criticizing this latest abuse) when the real cause is actually something else (calling for the end of Israel).
This is a shell game, and it’s dishonest. Just as I call out my right-wing friends to tell me their endgame [...], so I call out my left-wing friends to do the same. Tell me what the endgame is. Is it the end of the Jewish state entirely? Is it the return of Jewish “colonialists” to Europe and North Africa, from whence they fled under the shadow of anti-Semitic violence? Or, perhaps, is it an immediate, unilateral withdrawal [...] I am absolutely on board with criticizing many Israeli policies, but I also want to know where my partners stand on “final-status” issues. Otherwise, I’m being co-opted.Not only does he's correctly diagnose the problem, but he also correctly understands the outcome.
In addition to betraying liberal allies, the radical-left shell game also causes conservatives to be rightly suspicious of anything the left says.This is an incredibly brave statement to make for a left leaning liberal activist. While there is always much love for people who unquestioningly support the party line, there is much less love for those who those who will speak the truth as they see it.
While I am sure that I disagree with just about every policy prescription Mr. Michaelson would advocate, I am certain that we share many underlying values. The search for the truth is being the primary one. I will certainly take his opinion more seriously today than I would have yesterday. I am always supportive those who seek the truth...even if they are looking for it in a different place than I would.
In this world of partisan politics, intellectual honesty is a rare attribute. So, Yasher Koach to Jay Michaelson.