PerhapsKevin Drum in the Washington Monthly has the real reasons for the thundering silence on the left:
[I've been asked] why the liberal blogosphere doesn't write very much about Israel-related subjects. I can only speak for myself, of course, and my own reasons for light blogging on this subject are both predictable and banal. Still, here they are:
1. It sparks unusually vicious comment threads, something this blog hardly needs since comments here spin out of control often enough anyway. Needless to say, this phenomenon is fairly universal. (In case you're curious, the other subjects that seem to spawn more venom than usual are posts related to religion or feminism.)
2. The fight between Israel and the Palestinians is over half a century old and seems intractable. It follows the same rhythms decade after decade, full of hypocrisy and posturing from both camps, and there seems little to say about it that doesn't eventually boil down to, "Both sides need to ratchet down the rhetoric and rein in their own extremists." Aside from being pointless, there are only just so many ways you can say this. (NB: This may be a plausible excuse for inaction coming from a pundit or a blogger, but it's worth pointing out that it's not a plausible excuse for a president of the United States. Are you listening, George?)
3. The conflict is fantastically complex, and the partisans on both sides are mostly people who have been following events with fanatical attention to detail for many decades. Ordinary observers can hardly compete in this atmosphere — do you know the detailed history and long-accepted norms of behavior that have developed in the conflict over the Shebaa Farms since 1967? — and this has produced an almost codelike language of its own over the years. One misuses this code at ones peril (see #5 below).
4. As with the conflict itself, punditry is heavily dominated by extremists on both sides. I normally take my cues on subjects I'm inexpert in from people whose sensibilities are similar to mine, but it's nearly impossible to figure out who those people might be in this case.
5. Related to 1 and 3, posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of provoking a shitstorm of accusations of anti-semitism. (I gather that the opposite is more frequently the case in Europe.) Language is actually as big a problem as substance here, since words and phrases that are used innocently often have specific meanings to longtime partisans that are unknown to the rest of us.
Actually, one could judge by much of the partisan extremism on the left that it might be naturally inclined to oppose a religio-fascist movement like the Sunni and Shi'ite versions of Islam. However, this fails to take into account the almost toxic hatred of George Bush festering in the hearts of the Puffington Host crowd and their rancid fellow-travellers. The only Islamists the Left seems to oppose are the Wahhabi variety, and that because of the Saudi connection with the Bush Family, perhaps.
Steve Sailer had a brilliant deconstruction [link not available] of the Democrats' inability to square the circle of its identity politics minority bias which leans toward Arab- and Muslim-Americans as victims and its fund-raising necessities that comprise support of Jewish issues to continue the massive [Sailer says 50%] funding of the Dems by Jewish donors. Israel is a Jewish issue; Palestine is front and center to Arab and Muslim Americans---the Dems as usual are schizo. [BTW, the Repubs have a similar dilemma, as big oil likes the Arab/Muslim oil countries while the Bible Belters buckle lies in the evangelical support for Israel in the ceaseless approach to Armageddon and the Last Days.]
So on the latest horrific events, the Dems are reverting to their reflexive default position: blaming Bush, for not advancing the Peace Process like his predecessor Billy Jeff whose hankering for a Nobel almost got him a deal between Barak and Arafat. But GWB had 9/11, Ariel Sharon, an ascendant Hamas movement and a sick Arafat to contend with, not to mention adventures in Central and Southwest Asia.
Oh, by the way, I couldn't get the link to the entire Steve Sailer exegesis of the afflictions besetting the Democrats in their tireless quest for the good old days, but Steve did have an interesting couple of paragraphs on the dark secret at the core of Dem inadequacies:
While Democrats esteem themselves as more socially prestigious than Republicans, their electoral prospects are undermined by the faint whiff of failure that many Democratic voters exude, the impression that they resent their country and compatriots because they haven't quite fulfilled their own potential.
Surveys going back to 1972 have consistently found that more Republicans than Democrats consider themselves to be "very happy." In a 2005 poll, the Pew Research Center discovered that fifty percent more Republicans than Democrats rate themselves as "very happy," and that "if one controls for household income, Republicans still hold a significant edge." Indeed, Pew reported that their multiple regression analysis of what makes people content showed that "the most robust correlations of all those described in this report are health, income, church attendance, being married and, yes, being a Republican. Indeed, being a Republican is associated not only with happiness, it is also associated with every other trait in this cluster."
While it may (or may not) be admirable of liberals to want to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable," it's also hardly unreasonable for voters to assume that the party whose members, on the whole, better manage their own lives could better manage the government.
Ouch! That's going to leave a mark!