I’m fine with any critique of the Jewish establishment from serious Jews and serious journalists, people who deeply love Israel and disagree with its policies. Not acceptable, though, are the assimilationists and anti-Israel — yes, let’s call them that — leftists who piggy-back on the legitimate Jewish left as a beard to cover their loathing of all things Jewish and Israeli. They are the ones who say they can’t attend even the harmless. non-political Salute to Israel Parade or show the flag or even allow Ambassador Oren to speak, because of the mean ol’ Israeli government.
And yet, they never showed up for anything celebrating Israel no matter who was prime minister. They say they show their love for Israel by criticizing it. In what other way have they ever displayed any love for Israel? In no other way.
Basically, we’re talking about those assimilationists who have rejected Judaism and prefer to blame Judaism for rejecting them. They are usually identified as self-hating Jews, self-loathing Jews, but it is more of a cult of self-pity — always complaining that they were never coddled enough by the so-called Jewish establishment. Now it is fashionable for them to blame Israel. Their motto is , "Ask not what I can do for Israel, ask what Israel can do for me." What Israel does for them now is to give them an alibii for abandoning their people in time of trial, if not the eve of a new war. Their alibi is that they are being stifled, they say the "establishment" (what an adolescent word for them to use) has a taboo against free speech. This from the same people who tried to stop Ambassador Michael Oren from speaking at Brandeis.
The other week Gil Kulick, of J Street’s advisory board. was invited to speak at the Riverdale Temple. As reported by Paulette Schneider of the Riverdale Review, Kulick said, the purpose of J Street is to give voice to those who are "intimidated" by what he called the taboo against expressing criticism of Israel. How is he "intimidated" and where is the taboo if one of the most venerable temples in the city invited him to address the congregation?
Then this week, Peter Beinart, after his article, "The Failure of the Jewish Establishment" appeared in The New York Review of Books, tells Gary Rosenblatt that he is "surprised he hasn’t been marginalized" for his critique that AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents are not suffciently responsive to Jews who don’t gave a damn about Judaism and now don’t give a damn about Israel. For this Beinart has been called "brave" and "courageous" by the far left, the apathetic and the unaffiliated.
Marginalized for staking out a position on the far left against the Israel lobby? Beinart’s and Kulick’s complaint is as mainstream as it gets. Exactly where in the United States is a leftist Jew marginalized? In the Reform movement? In the Conservative movement? In the White House, where J Street has the president’s ear? Among the Tikkun crowd, or secular humanists, or on college campuses? In The Jewish Week? In the Forward? In The New York Times? In The New York Review of Books? In The Nation? Newsweek? Where?
You know what’s marginalized? The settler position is marginalized. Jewish legitimacy regarding the Temple Mount and the Machpela in Hebron is marginalized. Israel’s right to self-defense is marginalized, and on campus they try to marginalize Oren.
The Jewish left’s self-pity which masquerades their arrogance and self-congratulation is shameless. As Jimmy Breslin used to say, these people have no bottom. The J Street-Beinart position is thoroughly normative wherever assimilated and apathetic Jews are welcome, which is pretty much everywhere.
Said the great Pat Moynihan, you have your right to your own opinion, you don’t have the right to your own facts. Jeffrey Goldberg posted yet another example of Beinart faking the facts, as when Beinart says that Netanyahu rejected the Oslo accords. A fabrication. That’s up there with Beinart saying that Netanyahu was against a two-state solution. When did Netanyahu say that? In 1993 – 17 years ago. Now the prime minister is for a two-state solution but it is more convenient to pretend it is 1993 (except if it means returning Obama to the pews of Jeremiah Wright). Better to pretend that all the bus bombings and rockets never happened.
And another great post by Goldberg on Time’s Joe Klein thumb-sucking about the Big Lie, the supposed refusal of the Jewish community to allow debate on Israel.
You’ll notice that almost all of the anti-Israel leftists (including journalists) who complain the most about the Jewish community not allowing debate rarely if ever step foot in the Jewish community to find out if there is debate or not. I can name 15 Orthodox shuls off the top of my head where there are members in good standing and popularity who have no use for the current prime minister. They are not intimidated. We have terrific conversations and they write and speak in public.
And those true Jewish liberals, for all their critique of Netanyahu, never use it as an alibi for not loving and supporting Israel, by visting, donating, studying, raising Zionist children, and being part of numerous opportunities in the community where they can not only express themselves but influence others. They show up at the Salute to Israel Parade and love the great old Zionist songs (Techezakna, for one). Israel is their passion, rooted in their serious Jewish lives.
These Jews are the real Zionist left, the glorious Zionist left, not Beinart’s or J Street’s assimilationists looking for an alibi and self-pity. The biggest mistake made by the real Zionist left is when they try to pad and fake their numbers by pretending to have anything in common with Beinart’s and J Street’s assimilationists and fact-twisters, when the real Zionist left and the neo-Zionist left have nothing in common whatsoever.
If anything, the classic and authentic Zionist left will only be cheapened by the association and taken less seriously.
I respect what the authentic Zionist left has to say. I don’t respect what Beinart’s Alibi Ikes have to say, those who have no real concern for their own Jewish continuity (which is their right and none of my business) and no concern for Israel’s continuity, which is my business.
Techezakna, one more time.