Ten Minutes of anti-Israel Propaganda

An Austrian postcard from 1919 showing the stab-in-the-back narrative (Wikimedia)

I thought I was beyond being surprised by what comes out of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the American Reform Movement. But last week I received a blog titled “We Must Not Willfully Hide from a Truth” by Rabbi Stanley M. Davids, on a URJ mailing list called “Ten Minutes of Torah.”

I found it interesting as an illustration of the URJ’s anti-Israel direction, as well as an example of the cloudy thinking that characterizes today’s progressive Left.

Commenting on an essay in a forthcoming book (to be published by the Reform Movement’s CCAR Press), an essay which apparently calls for the replacement of the Jewish state by a binational one, Rabbi Davids wrote this:

The Torah is rich with warnings about how a bystander is not exempt from certain levels of responsibility. If you see a neighbor’s animal that is lost, you must not turn away. If you see a neighbor in distress, you must not turn away. If you witness a crime, you must testify.

And I would add: If you know a truth, you must not conceal it. If you hear a truth or if you see a truth, you must not hide from it. …

When we seek to meet an “Other,” we can only honestly meet that Other with a full awareness of what truths that Other holds dear. If we close ourselves off to such truths, even if those truths terrify or anger or confound us, then our meeting can never be successful. …

[the authors of the essay] Mezuman and Azzam-Jalajel assert that there is a valid Palestinian national narrative that Israelis must understand and recognize. Even if a separate Palestinian State comes into existence alongside Israel, the Palestinian residents of Israel must be treated as equal citizens with formal recognition of their own unique attachment to the Land. If Jews have a Right of Return, why shouldn’t we then contemplate a Palestinian Right of Return? Why shouldn’t our shared goal be a Jewish, Palestinian, and democratic State? …

Naqba is a truth from which many Israeli Jews and many Americans Jews willfully hide. That truth, a Palestinian truth to be sure, but accepted by some Jewish Zionists as well, doesn’t have to become our truth. But if we ever want to build an infrastructure of peace and understanding, we must recognize the power of that truth within the Palestinian community – and we cannot willfully hide from it.

I wrote to Rabbi Davids and asked him if he, personally and as a representative of his movement, would “contemplate a Palestinian Right of Return” or consider a “Jewish, Palestinian, and democratic State.” No, he answered, he would not. But,

What I was hoping that I could communicate is the need for both sides to hear and understand each other’s narratives.  Understanding why someone or some group feels the way that it does is a key to meaningful communication – but is not at all the same as accepting the Other’s narrative as true or even equally true or as compelling as our own narrative. [email response]

Rabbi Davids is not playing fair. On the one hand, he refers to the Palestinian narrative as a “truth” several times. Not just as a story – and as a matter of fact, a made-up story that serves the Arab political goal of extirpating the Jewish presence from the Land of Israel – but as a “truth.” And clearly “a truth” implies an epistemological status greater than a story.

The postmodernist believes that there is no such thing as absolute truth, and that every group has its own narrative that grows out of its own cultural experience. The narrative is true for its owners, but perhaps not for others. There is no external, objective standard. Is this what he thinks?

I hope not, for this way lies madness. If there is no such thing as objective truth, then there’s no use in reasoning, no such thing as justice, no sense in studying history, and no trustworthy knowledge.

But in his clarification, he tells us that is not what he means. He says that all he meant was that Israelis must fully comprehend the story that Palestinians believe so deeply, in order to communicate with them. Rabbi Davids is correct that if you don’t understand someone’s position, you can’t negotiate or even communicate with them. But he goes farther. He suggests that we are “hiding” from the “truth” of naqba, and that until we fully grok it, we will never get past our conflict.

He’s wrong. We do understand the Palestinian narrative. Nobody is hiding from the truth, if the truth is simply that the Palestinians have a narrative they believe in deeply, a narrative of their victimization and their desire for revenge.

What we disagree about is what counts as “understanding.” I suspect that both Davids and the Palestinians will agree that we have not fully comprehended the naqba until we admit that everything bad that happened to the Palestinian Arabs was our fault, and that we are prepared to make amends – which would at minimum mean sharing our state with them, enacting a right of return for Arabs with refugee status, and so on, precisely as Mezuman and Azzam-Jalajel suggest. In short, commit national suicide.

Indeed, as Rabbi Davids probably knows, if our actions in 1948 were unjust, as the Palestinian narrative tells us, then we are required to do tshuva (repentance), in part by returning anything that we took unjustly.

I would argue that despite the harsh actions that were made necessary by the war, the flight of several hundred thousand Arabs in 1948 was primarily a consequence of decisions made by Palestinian leaders and elites, as well as the leaders of the Arab states. We don’t have anything to do tshuva for.

This business of narratives didn’t start with the Palestinians. Politicians and others have always understood the power of the narrative. It’s only recently that people have started saying that all narratives are inherently “truths” in some sense, as long as a large number of people believe in them.

For example, many Germans believed that their loss in WWI was not due to running out of supplies and men, the entry of the US into the war, bad strategic decisions, and so on, but rather that their successful army had been “stabbed in the back,” mostly by the Jews. This narrative, which may have originated with a comment by German Chief of Staff von Ludendorff in 1919, became quite popular, and was later picked up by the Nazis.

Would Rabbi Davids believe that this narrative too, contained a “truth” from which we must not “hide?” I don’t think so.

Posted in American Jews, Israel and Palestinian Arabs | 5 Comments

The Real “Real Reason the Left Hates Israel”

I recently came across an article on the always-fascinating topic of “The Real Reason the Left Hates Israel,” by Sharon Goldman. I highly recommend it for its analysis of the intellectual and political origins of the flaming misoziony* of the Global Progressive Left (GPL), although, as we will see, it completely misses the point.

Goldman explains how the popularity of the postmodernism of Derrida and Foucault made it difficult to challenge political narratives on the basis of factual truth. The Jews may say they are the aboriginal inhabitants of the Land of Israel, but the Palestinian Arabs claim a history of thousands of years in “Palestine,” descending from Canaanites or Philistines or whatever. Before postmodernism, you could point to archaeological and historical evidence to decide which narrative was closer to the truth; but the postmodernists “showed” that science and scholarship are nothing more than “constructions” used by the power structure to control the populations that it oppresses. The only objective reality is the reality of power and resistance.

The next element in this toxic intellectual soup is postcolonialism. Building on postmodernism, postcolonialism attempts to explain intellectual, political, and economic phenomena as the result of the power relations between the (usually European) colonizers and the (usually African or Asian) colonized peoples. Postcolonialism has given us, for example, the definition of “racism” as racial bias plus power, which is used to argue that a “person of color” can be biased, but cannot be racist, since he or she is oppressed by a “white” power structure.

A particular example of postcolonialist thought which proved remarkably popular and potent in shaping left-wing discourse is the 1978 book “Orientalism” by Edward Said. Said, a professor of literature (and a liar and fraud) of Palestinian Arab origin, argued that distorted and romanticized stereotypes of Arabs and other non-Westerners, particularly Muslims, was used to justify the colonial oppression of them. Scholars of the Middle East like Bernard Lewis, who were not Arab or Muslim, were inherently affected by these misperceptions and therefore incapable of truly understanding the region. Said was also a Palestinian nationalist (a member of the PLO’s Palestinian National Council). “Orientalism” was and is required reading in countless university programs.

Goldman describes the way the GPL and particularly the antiwar movements adopted the postcolonial point of view in the 1970s, and sympathized with the various “liberation” movements, from the Viet Cong to the Black Panther Party, and especially the PLO. When the US became engaged in wars in the Middle East after 9/11, the GPL understood these wars as the US using its power to “impose its control on the natives” of the Middle East.

The relatively new concept of intersectionality put the icing on the cake. Originally the simple idea that someone who is a member of more than one oppressed group – like a black lesbian – suffers in a more complicated way than a person who is only one kind of victim, it has become understood to mean that in order to support one oppressed group, it’s necessary to support all of them. And there are many such groups – all except the white, male, Western, wealthy, power elite qualify – including, of course, Palestinians.

Especially Palestinians. If you are for “social justice,” even if you want to fight abuse of women, notes Goldman, you also need to support the Palestinian Struggle. She writes,

This is how you get to a situation where Israel, with its rights for women and for LGBTQ communities and religious minorities, is the great evil of our time. Intersectionality’s focus on victimhood leads to the exclusion of pro-Israel groups broadly within the social justice alliance, who, post 1967, are no longer viewed as victims; and the left’s historic connection to Palestinians as victims of Western imperialism explains the widespread illogical mapping of the language of colonialism and occupation onto the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

And, thanks to postmodernism, facts don’t matter.

But now we come to the point at which she goes wrong. “It’s not anti-Semitism [sic], but ignorance that has placed Israel at the pinnacle of the world’s evils for most of the Left,” she writes.

Well, no. There is plenty of ignorance to go around, but it doesn’t explain Israel’s location “at the pinnacle,” even, for many, considered more evil than the US or Russia – today’s most active imperialist colonizer. It doesn’t explain the irrational intensity of their misoziony, the belief that Israel is as bad or worse than the Nazis, and the predilection to believe absolutely anything bad about Israel without evidence. It doesn’t explain the way the IDF is accused over and over of deliberately harming children, using poison gas and explosive bullets, and being at the center of an international web of subversion. These charges are simply ridiculous, yet they are believed just as much by the social justice warriors of the Left as by the neo-Nazis of the Right.

What Goldman has laid out for us quite competently is not the motivation for left-wing misoziony. She has instead given us the intellectual justification for it, the logic and ideology that underlies the arguments that are be made for it, when arguments need to be made. These are not the same.

In his book “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion,” Jonathan Haidt makes an analogy with a man riding an elephant. The rider can signal to the elephant where he wants to go, but ultimately the elephant is in control. If the man wants to turn right and the elephant prefers to go left, there is nothing the man can do about it. Haidt compares the rational, conscious part of the mind to the rider, sitting on a massive, mostly subconscious, emotional elephant. The rider may think he is in control with his logical reasoning, but the power to choose resides primarily in his emotions. And the logical arguments that the rider thinks are guiding him are often after-the-fact justifications of the choices made for him by his emotions.

Perhaps young people coming to the university are indoctrinated with the ideological background that enables them to justify the decision to join, say, Students for Justice in Palestine, and swallow its massive charge of misoziony. Perhaps they sincerely believe that they have made this decision rationally. But the elephant knows. And what it knows in its heart is that it somehow fits that the Jewish state is more evil than any other, bleeding children, poisoning wells, damaging everything that she touches.

There is a word for that.

___________

*Misoziony is the extreme and irrational hatred of the Jewish state. It is antisemitism raised up one level of abstraction, although almost all misozionists are antisemites as well.

Posted in Academia, Jew Hatred | 1 Comment

A Strategic Plan for Peace

I spent some time Tuesday at a kibbutz in the “Gaza envelope,” the area close to the Strip that absorbs the brunt of the rockets that are the usual expression of Palestinian Arab rage at my existence. The kibbutz was sprinkled with little concrete shelters, because the 15 seconds or less that would elapse between the warning and the impact of a rocket doesn’t permit even a fast person to make it to the main protected areas.

There is also a serious fence around the kibbutz, and an electric gate. If one or more of the terrorists that often break through the border fence were to get in, there could be a disaster. So far, this hasn’t happened, because the IDF usually stops them, thanks to the female soldiers that “man” the observation posts up and down the border. But when we got to the gate, there was nobody to let us in. So we just waited for another car to drive out. No problem.

It was a beautiful day, not as humid as here in Rehovot even though it was closer to the coast. It was hard to believe that earlier in the day several mortar shells had been fired from Gaza at Israel, and that on Sunday night there was a rocket attack nearby. But Tuesday afternoon was quiet and peaceful.

It wasn’t peaceful in early May, when 690 rockets were launched at Israel. Some were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, but some got through, doing significant damage, killing four Israelis and wounding numerous others. Most of the rockets were aimed at the area near Gaza, but several of the deaths were in the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod, farther north. In March, a rocket from Gaza landed in a town 20 km north of Tel Aviv, destroying a house and injuring seven.

If it were not for the Iron Dome systems and the plethora of shelters in the communities near Gaza, the death toll would be much higher. A massive, all-out attack – Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad may have as many as 30,000 rockets stockpiled – would certainly overwhelm the systems, which can’t be everywhere at the same time.

There are not only the rocket and mortar attacks that kill people, but there are the arson balloons, the attempted incursions, the threat of actual invasion. And why limit the discussion to Hamas? There are also the paymasters of the “lone-wolf “ terrorists, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority – the organization that we allowed to be set up in Ramallah, led by the men of Fatah, the heirs of the Nazi al-Husseini and the ones responsible for the Second and (as yet unofficial) Third Intifadas.

These are the Palestinian Arabs, our deadly enemies.

We can’t defeat the PA and Hamas in a direct military confrontation without killing thousands. We won’t do that, even though they would do it to us in an instant. But we can’t make peace with them either. There is no common ground, no desire for anything other than total victory on their side, no possibility of trust on our side – and we are completely correct in not trusting them.

But there is a solution. And luckily, it is also a solution for some of our other problems.

The Palestinian Arabs do not have the resources to maintain their struggle by themselves. They are supported by other enemies of the Jewish state (what other country in the world has such a collection of enemies?), primarily Iran and Qatar, sometimes Saudi Arabia, and the European Union. The Palestinians are our proximate enemies, but these are our remote enemies. They are no less our enemies, and they have the same goal: they do not want there to be a Jewish state in the Middle East (or probably anywhere).

The Iranian regime fights by proxy. Its powerful Hezbollah proxy is probably the most dangerous threat facing us today. But it also supports Hamas. The remarkably hypocritical European Union also fights by proxy; it financially supports the Palestinian Authority and tries to subvert Israel’s government by supporting left-wing groups within Israel.

If we could knock out the support systems, the Palestinian war effort against us would collapse. Without financial support from Iran and Qatar, Hamas would be unable to maintain control of Gaza. The existing tribal forces in Gaza would take over. We would still have to deal with local terrorism, but the ability to mount a coordinated attack would be gone.

If Iran were neutralized, Hezbollah would wither away, along with the Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria. And that’s the solution. Rather than exhaust ourselves fighting with Iran’s local proxies, we need to confront the Iranian regime directly.

It sounds daunting – Iran is a massive country with a huge population. But it isn’t necessary or desirable to invade or occupy Iran. All we need to do is to help the opposition overthrow the regime, which is very unpopular. In this enterprise we would have the US on our side, at least under the present administration. I think it’s doable, if dangerous. Military operations would be limited to the Revolutionary Guard, which protects the regime and implements its expansionist policy.

There is also the looming nuclear threat. On this, we have no choice. The only way to deal with it is to neutralize Iran.

I think that PM Netanyahu understands this and that it is in fact his policy (that’s the only way I can understand the degree of restraint we are exercising toward Hamas).

The Palestinian Authority also must collapse. This is about to happen almost all by itself. There will soon be a struggle for power after Mahmoud Abbas dies or retires; we can support multiple tribal leaders, aiming to create a group of decentralized “emirates” in Judea and Samaria as suggested by Mordechai Kedar. But it will be important to get Iran out of the picture; otherwise the PA would simply be replaced by Iranian-funded proxies like Hamas. That implies that action against the Iranian regime must come soon.

Once the PA is gone, the EU’s influence over the Palestinian Arabs will be reduced. Our own government can and should work to strengthen regulations that will prevent the Europeans from supporting anti-state organizations here.

The solution for both Gaza and Judea/Samaria, in other words, is the same: decentralize Palestinian governance and split them from the outside forces that maintain their belligerency.

Israel is a truly beautiful place when it is at peace. We are now on the verge of a very difficult period, which will be quite the opposite. But I believe that if we have a consistent strategic plan and carry it out, we can bring about a situation in which our country will at last experience long-term peace. Timing will be everything: if we wait for the demise of Mahmoud Abbas, or if we don’t act before the administration in the US changes, it may be too late.

Posted in Iran, Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Terrorism, War | 2 Comments

Reflections on Tribal and National Loyalty

Recently I saw a Facebook post by Ryan Bellerose. Ryan is an Indian of the Metis tribe who lives in Canada, an activist for indigenous (aboriginal) peoples – all of them, including the Jewish people.

He wrote:

I side with my people before everything else. I can count on one hand where I sided with a non indian over an indian (the indian had to be really really wrong) but I would never side against my people on anything of real importance and I will never stand with anyone who stands against my core beliefs. why is this so difficult for people to understand?

Family. Clan. Tribe. Nation. Country. in that order, no exceptions, that’s how loyalty should be. family first last and always. nuff said.

Most people today agree about loyalty to their family. The other stuff, it depends. When I was in school in the 1950s, we learned about Stephen Decatur Jr., the American naval officer and hero of the wars against the Barbary Pirates, who was reported to have said “Our country!  … may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.” This was presented as an admirable example of patriotism. Later, in the late 1960s, it became for many an example of chauvinism or jingoism, something not at all admirable (and after the turn of the millennium, Barry Rubin reported that it seemed as though education in the US was aimed to develop precisely the opposite position, that America was always wrong).

Since 1945, tribalism and nationalism have officially fallen out of favor. The World Wars of the 20th century were blamed on nationalism, and the UN and EU were founded to keep a lid on it. Countless international institutions in those frameworks were created in order to erase or blur national differences and boundaries. Those who express sentiments like those of Bellerose, Decatur, and me, were considered throwbacks, pitied for their atavistic inability to grasp the equal value of all humanity, to understand that everyone has the same human rights. Zionism, which is nothing more or less than Jewish nationalism, got a bad rap.

Although the one-worldism of this period didn’t appeal to me, at least it was consistent. Every human had the same rights.

But then something else happened in the ideological space: post-colonialism appeared. Thanks to writers like Franz Fanon and Edward Said (and the KGB’s psychological warfare machine), it began to be popular to think that although in theory everyone should have the same rights, that entity known collectively as “the West” or “Whites” had for centuries systematically abused and exploited “the Third World” or “People of Color;” and now, in the name of human rights and fairness, it became necessary to compensate the formerly colonized peoples.

This compensation takes multiple forms, from actual monetary reparations to the descendants of slaves, to excusing violence on the part of “colonized” peoples. Because Palestinian Arabs are supposedly “occupied” by Israeli “settler-colonialists,” they are permitted – they will even argue (wrongly) that they are allowed by international law – to employ terrorism against them. When a 17-year old Jewish girl is killed by a remote-controlled bomb, as happened Friday, the PLO will not condemn the act, and Hamas will celebrate it. It is, they say, their right.

Indeed, the acceptance by the international community of systematic war crimes committed by “oppressed third world” movements like Hezbollah, Hamas, and other similar militias is, or should be, a scandal.

In the post-colonial model, tribalism and nationalism are still anathema, except for the formerly or currently “colonized,” particularly the Palestinian Arabs, whose own nationalism – not to mention misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism, and extreme propensity for violence – are all excused as the legacy of the colonial past.

In its milder form, post-colonialism informs the political correctness that plagues American campuses. “People of color” have victimhood rights that “whites” do not, including the right to impose segregation, to decide what topics can be discussed and who can have opinions about them, and so forth. Violation of these “rights” constitute “racism,” which is punished severely by ostracism and often loss of employment.

The difference between the idealistic postwar emphasis on human rights and the postcolonial era, which dates more or less to the 1970s, is striking. The language, which often refers to human rights, is similar, but in practice the exercise of these rights is limited to favored groups.

The contrast between the two periods is illustrated by the 1947 UN decision to partition the Palestine Mandate in a way intended to be fair to both its Jewish and Arab residents, versus the later, biased decisions of the UN, of which the 1975 General Assembly Resolution 3379 declaring Zionism to be a form of racism was a prime example.

Today postcolonialism is firmly ensconced in international institutions in the academic world, and in the media. The contradiction between the emphasis on human rights – for some groups – and the denial of self-determination for the Jewish people (who are never included among those who are considered victims of colonialism) is especially evident in Europe. Zionism, despite the UN’s repeal of Resolution 3379, is still considered “racist” by many, even though they don’t bat an eyelash at Palestinian nationalism – which includes the explicit intention to ethnically cleanse a Palestinian state of Jews.

But there does not need to be a contradiction between human rights and the older conception of nationalism. Prioritizing family, clan, tribe, nation, and country, as Ryan Bellerose does, does not necessarily imply denying rights to others. You can believe, as is stated in Israel’s declaration of independence and her recently passed Nation State Law, that the State of Israel is a Jewish state – that is, a state of, by and for the Jewish people – without denying the civil rights of non-Jews that live in it. This is what it means to be a Zionist.

Those of us who feel this way also understand the concept of national or tribal honor, and its importance. We understand that perhaps Israel had a reason to refuse to permit her enemies Tlaib and Omar to enter the country over and above the calculation of whether it would be better or worse PR than letting them in: national self-respect.

President Trump’s remark about Jewish loyalty might have been unfair to all of the Democratic Party. It might have represented the kind of poor boundaries sometimes attributed to Trump. But it certainly wasn’t antisemitic. And it wouldn’t hurt for American Jews to engage in more than a little introspection on the subject.

Posted in American Jews, The UN, Zionism | 1 Comment

No, it wasn’t Antisemitic

Donald Trump said:

Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this – even three years ago – of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people – I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. … Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people [Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar] over the State of Israel? … I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat – it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.

The CNN article linked above goes on to quote Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL and several other minor public Jews as saying that Trump is invoking the antisemitic “dual loyalty trope.”

The “dual loyalty trope” is far more than the idea that Jews care about Israel, see American and Israeli interests as aligned, and want US policy to be supportive of Israel. It implies that Jews would be willing to work against American interests in order to help Israel, to stab America in the back – as Hitler accused German Jews of doing to Germany –  for their own purposes.

This is a pernicious doctrine, but there is no evidence that this is what he meant. Indeed, if the Jews were more loyal to Israel than the US, they would be more likely to vote against the party of Tlaib and Omar, Israel’s enemies, than for it.

Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, went farther:

If this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of anti-Semitism. If this is about Jews being ‘loyal’ to him, then Trump needs a reality check. We live in a democracy, and Jewish support for the Republican Party has been halved in the past four years.

I think these responses are not just deliberate misunderstandings intended to attack Trump. I think that these people are really unable to understand his rather obvious intention, which is that Jews who support the Democratic Party are disloyal to the Jewish people. Not to America, not to Trump, but to the Jewish people.

So let me correctly translate his statement, with which you can agree or disagree: “the Democratic Party has tolerated, even embraced, the antisemitic and misozionist* Tlaib and Omar, and Jews who still support it are either ill-informed or disloyal to their own people.”

One could argue that this is not true, that the Democratic Party can be saved from going down the road traveled by Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, that there are elements in the party that are strongly opposed to their positions, that most House Democrats opposed Omar’s pro-BDS resolution and indeed passed one condemning BDS by a large margin, and so on. I don’t intend to discuss this here. My point is that an interpretation of Trump’s words as antisemitic is simply nonsensical.

There is a reason for the inability of these people to get the point. It is that at bottom they do not feel a part of a “Jewish people.” And they also don’t understand or don’t care that the conditions that enabled the Jewish people to survive in the diaspora no longer hold. Today, the survival of the Jewish people as a unique people in history depends on the survival of the Jewish state.

To those Jews whose worldview was inspired by the 19th century reformers who believed that they could protect their communities from antisemitism and integrate them with non-Jewish society by insisting that Jews were not a people, but only a group sharing a common religion – Germans or Americans of the Jewish Persuasion so to speak – Trump’s remark was unintelligible.

Interestingly, even the Republican Jewish Coalition seems to have missed the point. It tweeted, “President Trump is right, it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion.” That’s wrong. The disloyalty Trump is referring to is not to “oneself,” but to one’s people. And they don’t hate us for our religion: they hate those of us who support a Jewish sovereign state in a place that they believe belongs only to Muslims. They see the Jewish people as a rival, even an enemy of theirs.

The PLO knows there is a real Jewish people and that it has a deep historical connection to Eretz Yisrael. They deny it because they would like the world to accept their false narrative, but they know that the Jewish people are the aboriginal inhabitants – the oldest extant indigenous people – of Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish ancestral homeland. Many American Jews do not know or care.

Trump himself probably thinks the responses were just attempts to attack him, and maybe that is a part of it. Trump, like Polemarchus in Plato’s Republic, seems to believe that “justice resides in helping one’s friends and hurting one’s enemies,” and doesn’t understand people who invert this idea, like the progressive Jews who subscribe to “Tikkunism.”

Because this post mentions Trump, I will get a lot of angry mail. But before you sit down at your keyboard to type all the adjectives that are so beloved of those who believe that Trump is the Devil, please understand that as usual, this post is not primarily about him. It is about the importance for Jews, even in the diaspora, to understand that they are a unique people, with a homeland that is theirs alone.

Trump is comfortable with nationalism, which American liberals have long since rejected, and it makes sense to him that members of a people would naturally want to stick up for their ancestral homeland, even while preferring to live somewhere else.

It makes sense to me too.

___________
*Misoziony is the extreme and irrational hatred of the Jewish state. It is  antisemitism raised up one level of abstraction, although almost all misozionists are antisemites as well.

Posted in American Jews, American politics, Jew Hatred, The Jewish people | 1 Comment