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Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

So... What now? Last night... the question asked of me by a good friend. What now? The President was re-elected, CA has a super-majority of Dems. running the show, he said, "What do you think?" and I had to think on that for a few minutes. And then I had to think for a few minutes more.

Prior to the election I had really been into Middle East politics. Some friends and I founded Team Shalom here, along with other Jewish advocacy groups. This interest took the form of creating a weekly news series dedicated to multiple perspectives on the news called "Fry'd Daze". We ran it for over two years and decided that since no one was much interested after a time, that there was no real point in continuing. So I thought to myself; "Why not get back into that issue?", I mean I have friends and family there, I semi-know the language, I practice Israeli Martial Arts, I read their on-line newspapers (Haaretz and Ynet) every day, I get polling updates from Israel on a regular basis.

But then I was dissuaded in two ways. The first was by the situation itself. It is a mess (belagan in Hebrew). I am not happy with the Israeli Right, who not only pursue policies that I simply don't agree with, but helped form a coalition of racists, crazy people and morons (who simply can't discern fact from fiction and have even stated that Republicans are hippies compared to the people that President Obama supports) to push their cause in the U.S. And arguing against them is fine BUT from all I can see, and according to all of the polls coming out of Israel, they will retain power and do it rather easily. At the same time, I certainly have absolutely ZERO in common with those that support trashing Israel publicly to prove what "good Jews they are" along with I don't see anything that I can support coming from the Palestinian side. So, while I would love to advocate for the Israeli Center and Center-Left (Meretz, Avodah, Yesh-Atid and Tzipi Livni - whatever she is doing), they can't even get themselves together so what the heck am I advocating for?

The second thing that dissuaded me are my Israeli friends. They don't understand U.S. individual advocacy for their cause. They appreciate that I feel a connection to them but honestly, I never went through what they have been through and they have not been through what I went through. They care about Jews and Jewish identity, but to them, unless we are moving there or giving them money, honestly... it is not a big deal. It really is this... that convinced me that while I still have an interest in things, honestly... it is not and should not be my main focus. They are right, I am an American. I should worry about my own country before thinking about any other. Watching the Presidents brilliant victory speech brought a complete welling of national pride for our great nation. We did the right thing this year and for that I am grateful. Of course, I will still write on the subject but it is not up to me to tell Israelis what to do. Not from my happy little perch in beautiful California.

So... Now what? I think it is to help push the President's agenda forward in a progressive manner. NOT to become bitter at the incremental progress he makes but, to try to make sure that things like sane budgeting, environmental improvement, education enhancement continue on the path that the President has started.

Making sure that we get the reasonable healthcare that the Affordable Care Act is supposed to provide. Making sure that the President knows NOT to cave in to Speaker Boehner and the failed policy proposals of the Teahaddists. Making sure, that we as Americans get renewables front and center in our energy policy, and finally making sure that Seniors and those who need assistance the most don't lose their social safety net and have the ability to live their lives with dignity.

I want to see the President that I voted for, and what President Obama became in the last year and a half and that is my cause. A liberal/progressive system of government that allows for the better nature of Americans to shine through. Because of this election I have that hope. Now, it's time to make that real.

THIS is what I want:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for coming to terms with the next few years (6+ / 0-)

    "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

    by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:35:46 AM PST

  •  Some of your thoughts here... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Mets102, science nerd

    are both very insightful and quite easy for me to relate to. Thank you.

    •  My pleasure... I really wanted to provide a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mets102, kalmoth, science nerd

      platform where people could also express what they are thinking and feeling for the coming time.

      I am so happy we have a 53-45-2 Senate and I am really happy that we have President Obama in the drivers seat. I feel better about the next four years. It's unbelievable how much the election affected me and had me worried.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:54:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  first order of business in that area (0+ / 0-)

    is to diffuse the situation.

    talks with iran and deals.  take that pressure off and then maybe deal with the settlements.

    start putting pressure on israel to change their policies here or else.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:54:11 AM PST

    •  No... I disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JNEREBEL

      Diffusing the situation is a good idea just not the way you are suggesting. At least not in my opinion. What you are proposing will just amp the situation up.

      Talking with both sides and making sure that they both understand that the maximalist demands of both sides are the cause of all of the problems. The Palestinians simply are not going to get their "Right of Return" recognized. Israel is not going to abandon the Jerusalem suburbs and most of the settlements that are right off the Green Line. The Israelis won't and should NOT ever (in my opinion) give back the Western Wall.

      At the same time, the Israeli denial of Part of East Jerusalem as a Palestinian State needs to be dealt with, AS does the issue of the creation of viable (which includes discussions on Water, continued settlement, and all other manner of things) Palestinian State with internationally recognized borders.

      You and I may disagree with and can argue that until the cows come home, but, it doesn't change a damn thing. We are Americans (I assume) and for me I support our continued and expanded aid to Israel. Not only that but, I support the President's foreign policy ideas for the most part.

      BUT, I am far more focused on what we do at home to help our own people. I am far more focused on seeing a better America for my family, and for my fellow Americans.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:13:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you really haven't said anything different (0+ / 0-)

        what did you disagree with about my comment?

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 12:53:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because I would not take a hard line (0+ / 0-)

          with Israel, at least not at this time, and unless they annexed the West Bank and then disenfranchised the population, I can't see that I would.

          "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

          by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 01:30:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  they have to stop building the settlements (0+ / 0-)

            first or else sanctions.

            it's coming.

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:40:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't agree... I think they have to stop (0+ / 0-)

              building settlements AND the Palestinians have to accept that Israel is there and what it is.

              Sanctions are not even remotely close.

              "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

              by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:51:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  see again you're not saying anything much differen (0+ / 0-)

                i just said they have to stop the settlements and you say i don't agree

                the sanctions will come if they don't manage to stop.  from the world.

                -You want to change the system, run for office.

                by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:53:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No but where we disagree is that you are talking (0+ / 0-)

                  about only one side and I am talking about both sides. I doubt Europe will do sanctions as long as the Israelis don't formally annex the West Bank. I just don't see it.

                  "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                  by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 03:00:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  everybody in the world is talking about sanctions (0+ / 0-)

                    re: the settlements, that's what the current topic re: israel will be once we get a deal from iran.

                    everything else can't happen until those two things are settled.

                    it happened before and most likely will happen again.  israel had a chance and they blew it.

                    -You want to change the system, run for office.

                    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 03:35:36 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not really... Just Leftist groups and the (0+ / 0-)

                      occasional movement amongst smaller bureaucracies in Europe. Certainly ZERO talk about it here.

                      Sorry, but sanctions simply aren't going to happen.

                      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                      by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:00:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  the president's policy (0+ / 0-)

                    Israel halt all settlement activity on land captured in the 1967 war

                    we'll see what Obama does on this issue. i am sure he will be on the right side of history.

                    -You want to change the system, run for office.

                    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 03:37:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The right side of history is to recognize Israel's (0+ / 0-)

                      Right to exist as the National Homeland and State of the Jewish People. As well as recognizing their legitimate right to self defense. From everything I have ever seen, President Obama supports both of those things.

                      I think we will see a President Obama that will be consistent with his first term - that is a President who is friends with Israel and understands that Peace has to come from both the Palestinians AND Israelis.

                      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                      by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:19:33 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  I still believe advocacy for a better Israel is in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1

    line with advocacy of a better USA.

    I know both will flourish again under progressive leadership. Our opportunity has come, theirs will too.

  •  I like your frank statement of where you stand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1

    and agree with most of what you say here. I think working for progressive causes, and empowering progressives in congress, is what we need most right now, and what I need to do too.

    You say "Now what? I think it is to help push the President's agenda forward in a progressive manner" and, while I agree with that, I would go further. I'm mostly happy with Obama, but he's not progressive enough for me.

    Still, in the pragmatic spirit of your diary, his agenda is what we've got right now, so we should push it forward, with an eye on an even more progressive future. Perhaps that is exactly what you meant.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 01:15:27 PM PST

  •  Easy, we avoid ww3 by marginalizing (0+ / 0-)

    The lunatic christianitists, the judaists, and the islamists.  Duh.

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