A reader writes:
Regarding your piece today on the First World Left (as well as the Truthout article you shared re: Ilhan Omar), one silver lining to the ascendance of progressives — whatever their many fundamental shortcomings, as you rightly note — is the current opening up of dialogue surrounding (previously unquestioned) bipartisan support for Israel. Something that was long-verboten a few months ago has suddenly been forced into mainstream discussion.
From what I’ve seen just hopping around online, this is indeed a huge rift that’s developing within the Democratic Party. I see progressives shocked at and creeped out by the Democratic establishment’s thuggish attempt to silence dissent, with some clearly beginning to regard them not simply as a stodgy old guard to be dragged into becoming more progressive, but as just as monstrous as the Republicans. This is purely anecdotal of course, but I’ve seen some ostensibly progressive commenters use words like psychotic and evil to describe them.
Irrespective of anything else that may happen, this seems like an important development, and something that perhaps had to come from the Left. It’s easy to dismiss paleocons and far right figures as anti-Semites (especially since some of them obviously are); it’s a lot harder to get away with the same accusations here. I imagine this will ultimately combine with the growing sentiment to throw Saudi Arabia under the bus as well. It’s only natural after all, if they are indeed serious about opposing authoritarian, right-wing governments as a matter of foreign policy.