Daily Kos bans Israel critic, smears Rachel Corrie
Jim Harris via Mondoweiss
Daily Kos is the "premier online political community with 2.5 million unique visitors per month and 250,000 registered users.” Its stated purpose is simple: “It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory.” Well, that’s a warning right there. Its goal is simply to promote the Democratic Party brand, not to promote peace, social justice, or oppose oppression. Yet many of us who blog at Daily Kos use the site to promote values such as opposing wars and oppression, no matter the current political popularity of such a stance. If you write there in support of Palestinian liberation and ending US funding for Israeli oppression, you risk, at a minimum, that you will be subject to regular and vicious attacks from those who defend the status quo, or some slightly modified version thereof.
I know, because I was banned from the site after writing on it for over 4 years.
My diaries mostly dealt with the daily and routine violence of the occupation.
Home demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes are the subject of many (and the mockery they make of a “peace process”). I was also not afraid to criticize the Jewish establishment, including the ADL and even groups like Hillel when some locals hosted Efraim Eitam. But the last straw was perhaps my last diary, a report of the protest of Israeli peace groups and their concern that Israel is becoming a fascist state. The pressure must have been too intense for the DKos administration to withstand, so it became easier just to ban me.
I was not all that surprised. In one of my comments, made in regard to the ADL’s attack on the Muslim Community Center planned in New York, I stated that no matter where we live in America “we can demand that bigotry be rejected by all, including New Yorkers, and the ADL.” It elicited this emphatic and crude response: “You have no fucking standing my friend, to demand anything.” That statement, I believe, encapsulates the view that, at Daily Kos, unless you conform to certain limits of acceptable criticism of Israeli policy and of the institutions that support Israeli policy (including the Democratic Party), you simply do not have any standing. For example, saying the Israeli settlements should no longer expand is permissible. But say that the US should cease the funding of Israeli aggression and you can expect to be attacked as being an anti-Semite.
A case in point, and again, very crude but not at all subject to administrative sanction at Daily Kos: in attacking the memory of Rachel Corrie and supporting the Official Israeli line about how she was killed, a commenter said:
Notice the clear accusation of anti-Semitism; in this case simply for refusing to accept the Israeli government story on the killing of Rachel Corrie, and the utter disrespect the commenter exhibits toward the family of Rachel Corrie (does any family ever bury their dead in Tupperware? It looks like a variation of the extremist taunts of Rachel as “St. Pancake”). That is the kind of impunity at Daily Kos allowed for those whose views conform to the current anti-Palestinian policies of the Democratic Party.
... if the ISM's [International Solidarity Movement's] story were true, and the bulldozer had run over her, then backed over her, they'd have buried her in tupperware. The fact that she actually had an open casket funeral would suggest that this scenario was not, in fact, what happened. Additionally the autopsy report finding dirt and debris in her lungs is consistent with the IDF's version of the story that she was on rubble, fell, and was buried under it and crushed by it. But that doesn't fit the ISM's (and your) narrative of malicious, vindictive, thieving Jews, so their version of the story was a bit different.
Would we expect anything better? Not from partisans of a political party where the leadership is supporting starvation sanctions on the people of Gaza. Not from a forum that promotes the political fortunes of Obama, whose military support of occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians is without parallel, and belies his words of mild disagreement with Israeli policies.
Still, we can hope for better, we can work for better, at Daily Kos and even the Democratic Party itself. There are still supporters of human rights who share the latest news and analysis of US policy active at Daily Kos, and they persevere despite the obstacles. Israel has no worries about the current political leadership of the Democratic Party (and needless to say, the Republican Party), but about the grassroots they should be very worried. I see a steady erosion of support for unqualified support of Israeli policies and growing support for a human rights and justice approach. The Progressive Democrats of America has supported congressional candidates like Marcy Winograd, a Jewish non-Zionist. While many of us have given up on the major political parties as avenues of creating justice; we need to recognize that we have many allies within the parties, especially the Democratic Party. So Daily Kos may muzzle a few very active commentators, but the tide is going in the wrong direction for that to be anything but a short-term gain for those who wish to keep the status quo. The future belongs to those who side with human rights and supporting international law.
Jim Harris is now busy with the www.StopAIPAC.org website and organizing a December protest of AIPAC in the Bay Area.