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Progressives' Middle East Dialogue and the Danger of Falling into the Right Wing's Deadly Trap

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See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .
Eeyyeewww. This middle east business is very challenging. I get hatemail calling me an antisemite by one writer and the next calls me a zionist racist.

Did I already say that in a previous email? Well, I'm getting more of it. It is a bit upsetting, but I'm staying with my policy. I will publish articles from both sides-- articles which are not hateful, which talk about what is going on. I don't expect them to be warm and fuzzy. I expect them to be angry. This horrible situation inevitably drives people to passionate positions.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 5:30 AM, upset about one writer who accused me of being a Jew Hater. And another villified me as a zionist supporter of nazi murdering racists who kill women and children.

But I'm going to keep at this. I don't know of many places that are taking articles from Israelis and palestinians, Jews and Muslims. I expect to make some mistakes, to allow some articles that go too far in one direaction or the other. I'm hoping you, my readers, will help me to see any articles like that, that go too far in either direction. But as the publisher of a progressive site, I would be failing in my responsibility to my readers if I just backed off and allowed one side of this issue to dominate. There are other sites that do that very well. They are happy to only attack Israel. Yet, when we look at the Democratic-- the left side of the aisle in congress-- they are 99% supporting Israel.

I'm not unquestioningly supporting Israel. I have repeatedly said that Israel's leadership is of the same ilk and as bad as the leadership the US has. There's a mess over there and a lot of the problem is political and a lot is religious extremism.

We on the left MUST discuss how the problems in the middle east can be resolved. I'm sorry, but simple answers-- kill Hizbollah, take away all of Israel's funding-- the two most common answers, do not and will not work. Like it or not, ALL the politicians in congress, except a literal handful, are on board with strong support for Israel. I'm not advocating it, just observing that this is the reality. That's because failure to do so can cost a candidate dearly. Yes, sure, I know that Jews make up only two or three percent of the population. But they vote two or three times as much as others and they contribute to campaigns more and that small percentage has a disproportionally large influence on legislators.

Legislators are not going to suddenly write off Israel. This is not a complaint about Jewish voters and it's not a defense. It just IS that way. So, progressives, if they want to see change in the middle east, should stop WASTING their time saying how evil Israel is and should start talking about ways to help peace happen.

We need to talk about this a lot. When passions fire up, it sometimes takes a bit of cartharsis-- getting the anger out-- before a real conversation can begin. So I've been trying to communicate with a number of the people who send me hate mail, and sometimes we can start to have conversations that show promise. We need to do a lot more of that. I'd really like to see YOU posting blog diaries and posting comments on articles, getting involved in the conversation.

We need to find new ways to solve the problems in the middle east. I don't have any problem with the US weighing in much more heavily than it has. But I think that the Republicans are USING the middle east conflagration as a smokescreen that they hope will put Americans back into a fear of terrorism state of mind that also distracts them from the problems with domestic spying, Iraq, corruption, Valerie Plame, 9/11, etc..

I fear we will soon be seeing Syria entering the fray, and eventually, Iran. This is bad news. It is incredibly dangerous. It is highly likely because it is what Rumsfeld and his neocon allies have wanted to do, and Bush has generally LET THEM DO what they wanted to do.

In the scenario the Neocons envision, Israel is currently the frontline of the USA's fight against terrorism.

I repeat. The neocons are framing the middle east conflict of America's new front line in the battle defending the US and the world from terrorism. I'm just describing their frame, not buying it.

But I think many of those voters who shifted the polling numbers so BUsh's ratings dropped to 33% or 35% ARE buying it. And there is an expectation that Bush's poll ratings are going up. Surprise!!. This manipulation of the mideast pawns is working.

So, if you're not happy with what Israel is doing, read it as a chess move by Bush and his neocons. DOn't get mad at the pawn. Get mad at the player who is calling the moves. And remember, that pawns, the pawns on your side, are expendable. Israel is being "spent" and so are the hapless victims in Lebanon.

We see reports that Syria is raising the readiness level of its military.

And progressives are talking about bad Israel-- watching the pawn while Bush and the neocons are playing higher power games with framing for the Americans who will decide the election, playing higher power games with bishops and mullahs, horses and and castles-- nuclear brandishing and territorial and oil predation.

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at RobKall.com

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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