The Volokh Conspiracy has a good article on why Liberals love to hate Israel.
For a little background, you should read Peter Beinart’s article here. (Note: Beinart is very very very liberal in all US meanings of the word, but not in the classical, libertarian sense.)
Then read Noah Pollak’s rebuttal here.
There are important matters of context missing from Beinart’s critique. He condemns the hostility some Israeli Jews have expressed toward Israeli Arabs without so much as mentioning the rise in radicalism among Israeli Arabs, to the point today where many of their political leaders — including members of the Knesset — have openly sided with Hamas and Hezbollah, lauded the Iranian nuclear program, supported the destruction of Israel, and participated in all manner of delegitimization and anti-Semitic incitement. These are citizens of Israel: imagine if Muslims who had been elected to the U.S. Congress were engaged in similar endorsements of America’s enemies.
Needless to say I’m in agreement more with Pollak.
David Bernstein at Volokh writes:
Hmm, this theory would also explain why certain harsh American critics of Israel, who surely think of themselves as enlightened people with no prejudice against Jews, could launch certain types of venomous attacks against Jewish supporters of Israel. For example, it would explain why John Mearsheimer feels comfortable dividing the Jewish world into “righteous Jews” (leftist Jews who attack Israel) and “new Afrikaners” (everyone else);…
Ancient prejudices unwittingly repackaged into anti-Zionism, anyone?
I would say it’s not just anti-Semitism, but a whole range of issues in which, to Liberals, you either for us or racist. The 2008 campaign is full of examples; why was Bill Clinton’s “coffee” remark racist and Reid’s comments are not? What about Vice President Biden’s comments that Obama was ““clean,” “bright” and “articulate,” why are they not racist but apparently the entire Tea Party is?
So while the article deals mainly with jewish liberals, I think it’s indicative of the whole. If your with them, then your okay. Apparently racism, sexism (Remember Obama’s “claws come out” remark? or “Lipstick on a Pig“?) and stereotyping (Liberals love to stereotype all Libertarians as anarchists and Conservatives as hating the poor, all the while saying they are the “tolerant” party) are okay as long as you’re a Liberal. But watch out if you’re not, the claws do come out. Case in point, the Tea Party.
Update: Here’s a link to blogginhead.tv with Beinart and Goldberg. It’s worth it if you have an hour to kill.