Sunday, November 07, 2010
By Steven Plaut
Allow us to introduce you to young Kochav Segal Halevi. The life of
the Israeli 26 year old is in danger and he is receiving death
threats. In fact he had to go into hiding. His offence? He
purchased an apartment in the Arab town of 'Iblin not far from Haifa.
The Arabs of the town do not like the idea of their town being
polluted by the presence of a Jew. I mean, one Jew and there goes the
neighborhood. The left-leaning Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot (Nov. 7,
2010) described the threats he has been receiving and how he fears for
his life. He is now in hiding. Arabs who sell real property to Jews
have similarly been threatened and attacked. And of course the
moderates from the Palestinian Authority routinely torture and execute
summarily Arabs who sell property to Jews.
Now I mention all this because the leftist media in Israel and in the
world are - as usual - up in arms over supposed Israeli Jewish
"racism" against Arabs. There are some Jewish closed communities in
Israel, some of them religiously observant, in which one must be
accepted as a member by an admissions committee in order to live
there, and these tend to refuse membership to Arabs "to preserve the
character of the community." (In religious communities, non-religious
Jews get barred as well. Other communities, including kibbutzim, have
age and marital status restrictions.) There have also been calls in
recent days, including from some local public officials, in Carmiel
and in Safed in the Galilee, to restrict the movement of Arabs into
But of course the reality is that, by and large, Israeli Arabs may
move into and live in just about any Jewish area in the country, while
Jews cannot move into any Arab town or village or neighborhood. The
Jews cannot move into the Arab areas because they will be murdered if
they move there. Every single Israeli understands these unwritten
"rules of the game." In fact, Jews often risk their lives just
passing through Arab areas, as a group of four Hebrew University
Jewish students discovered over the past weekend when they were almost
lynched after making a wrong turn into an Arab neighborhood next to
the campus. (I myself have made that same wrong turn, the signs being
unclear at that intersection.) Jews are also attacked when holding
political marches in Arab towns, in contrast with the anti-Jewish
marches regularly conducted by Arabs in Tel Aviv and other Jewish
Arabs from (Arab) Nazareth routinely buy housing in (Jewish) Upper
Nazareth, but the Jews from Upper Nazareth never purchase property in
(Arab) Nazareth, knowing they will be murdered if they do. During the
pogroms by Galilee Arabs in the summer of 2000, Arabs invaded Upper
Nazareth and attacked Jews there. The Jews of Upper Nazareth did NOT
attack Arabs in Nazareth. So who are the racists there? The Orr
Commission set up to investigate those pogroms condemned the Israeli
police and their commanders for using "excessive" force against the
Arab lynch mobs attacking Jews, but it did not denounce the lynch mobs
More generally, the new party line of the radical Left and their
Islamofascist allies is that – yes – Arabs must be permitted to live
anywhere they want among Israeli Jews, but – no - Jews must be
prevented from ever moving into areas the Left regards as "Arab
areas," places where Jews do not belong. The Hebrew University's
tenured Leftists (and their jihadi fellow travelers) have been leading
the marches in Jerusalem to prevent Jews from moving into
neighborhoods inside Jerusalem regarded by these Klansmen of the Left
as areas where Jews are regarded as "intruders."
So imagine, if you will, a situation in which people are demanding
that all whites in the American South be permitted to move into towns
and neighborhoods with black majorities and characters, but that no
black people at all be allowed to move into any areas in which whites
live. Now you might object that I have reversed the "majority" and
"minority" groups in the metaphor. But you would be wrong. Many
parts of the Galilee today have Arab majorities. The Jews in Carmiel
and Safed, to name but two towns, feel they are under demographic
siege. Much of the local opposition to Arabs moving into those towns
is based upon the fact that violence and hostilities have broken out
when significant numbers of Arabs move to neighborhoods there. After
all, we are in the middle of a war and the local Arabs, by and large,
openly identify with the country's enemies. Then, of course, there is
also the little fact that no Jews at all can move into Arab towns and
villages in the surroundings of those same towns without being
The anti-Israel Left sees "racism" in calls to restrict Arabs moving
into the Jewish towns of the Galilee, but has never ever ever ever
expressed an iota of criticism about the violent threats that prevent
Jews from moving into Arab areas. Those folks have had nothing to say
about the plight of young Halevi. THAT is NOT racism, you see. The
Left also is completely sympathetic to the violent attacks by Arabs
against rightwing Jewish protest marchers who hold marches in some
Arab towns, like Umm al-Fahm, the seat of the Israeli Arab pro-jihad
Islamofascist movement (a movement that openly identifies with the
Hamas). After all, those Jewish marchers are violating the
anti-Jewish sensitivities of the local Arabs. Of course, when gay
pride marches are held in Jewish religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem
(but never, mind you, in Moslem neighborhoods there!), no Leftist
thinks THOSE marchers should be expected to respect local
sensitivities. These are the same leftists who see nothing "racist"
about Gazan Arabs firing thousands of rockets into the homes and
schools of Negev Jews. Racism is only when Israel retaliates by
restricting imports into Gaza.
Now it is true that the threats against Jews, which effectively
prevent Jews from living in Arab areas in the Galilee and Negev and
elsewhere, are not formal and officially proclaimed. That is why the
Israeli courts never have anything to say about them, but get livid
and self-righteous whenever any Jewish gated communities shut their
gates to Arab residency. Nevertheless, everyone in the country
understands the threats of violence that operate against Jews seeking
to live in Arab areas. Jews only challenge those threats when they
come in large numbers and with massive police protection, such as in
some places in Jerusalem into which Jews have moved.
As I say, the media responses and the leftist kneejerk responses to
those Jewish "invasions" of areas where "Jews do not belong" have been
to demand that the Jews be evicted. Let in a few Yids and there goes
the neighborhood! Arabs routinely move into many Jewish
neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa and there have been
virtually no incidents of violence against them. Meanwhile the Left
keeps insisting that any peace deal with the Palestinian Authority
must involve the complete eviction of all Jews living in the West
Bank. Arabs will be free to live in Israel after any such "peace
deal," but Jews must be prohibited from living in what could become
"Palestinian areas." So who here are the real racists? Where is the
Let us also note that none of the Hebrew University tenured leftists
leading the marches against Jews living in Jerusalem neighborhoods
where the profs think they do not belong have any Arabs living in
THEIR buildings next to them!
Meanwhile, here are some other readings you might find of interest:
1. Some good news: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3980670,00.html
2. More Oslo Success – Arabs stone Israeli ambulance attempting to
rescue Arab boy:
3. Betselem's friends: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/140478
4. Learning from mistakes?
5. Jerusalem Arabs attempt to lynch Jewish youths - three Israelis
from Givatayim and a female Australian student studying at Hebrew
University in Jerusalem- a few steps from Mt Scopus:
Ben Gurion University - Leftist Neo-fascist Neve Gordon (Dept of
Political Science) sees Fascism breaking out all Over Israel
(the same piece was published by Gordon in the anti-Semitic pro-jihad
web magazine Counterpunch)
7. Yet more pro-jihad extremists from Tel Aviv University:
Thursday, November 04, 2010
The REAL McCartyists in Israel
Israel – the anti-Israel Academic Left
• Published 02:45 04.11.10
• Latest update 02:45 04.11.10
A considerable number of instructors in these departments teach their
students that Israel is the spearhead of colonialism in the Middle
East, that Zionism is a racist movement that supports expulsion and
that the Law of Return is racist.
By Israel Harel
In the wake of reports that were compiled in regard to anti-Zionist
slants in research and instruction in a number of the country's
university social sciences faculties, and after students and teachers
complained about being reprimanded and insulted when they voiced their
opposition, on Tuesday the Knesset Education Committee debated the
issue. Lo and behold, members of the Knesset - so protective of
freedom of expression of this body - claimed that the discussion is
The very act of discussing academia at the Knesset, argued several
MKs, including Haim Oron, Nitzan Horowitz, Ahmed Tibi, Raleb Majadele
and Orit Zuaretz, is a violation of academic freedom. University heads
who attended the session echoed the same sentiments.
They were not reassured by the calming words of committee chairman
Zevulun Orlev, nor the admonishments of Education Minister Gideon
Sa'ar, according to which there was no intention, heaven forfend, of
dictating curriculum. Rather, the purpose was to determine, for the
sake of the universities' public image, whether the hue and cry was
founded. But the MKs stood firm.
One can imagine how these legislators - these in particular - would
react were the Shin Bet security service, or the Israel Defense
Forces, or the Mossad, to claim that discussing matters pertaining to
it in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee harms national
security. After all, the MKs would say, the main purpose of this
committee is to supervise the defense establishment. And of course
they would react similarly to any criticism of the Knesset over any
other public entity in the state with the exception of the Holy of
The complaints that reached the committee concerned departments such
as sociology and political science, as well as law faculties. As part
of its "partnership with organizations" effort, the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem Faculty of Law, according to its website, has academic
partnerships with dozens of NGOs from the extreme left, including
B'Tselem, Amnesty International, Yesh Din, Machsom Watch and the
Association for Civil Rights in Israel. A few of these, such as Adalah
and Mada al-Carmel, deny Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
Students who volunteer with these NGOs are awarded scholarships, and
at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev they even receive credit.
A considerable number of instructors in these departments teach their
students that Israel is the spearhead of colonialism in the Middle
East, that Zionism is a racist movement that supports expulsion and
that the Law of Return is racist. They call for getting rid of
"Hatikva," the national anthem, and the other symbols of the Jewish
state, and quote from "research" establishing that Israel is a
war-mongering nation. And if all that were not enough, students have
complained, anyone who dares to protest is reprimanded and pays the
price in their grades, while faculty members who fail to toe the line
are not promoted.
Is it any wonder, then, that few dissenting voices are heard and that
they are lampooned? Where can one find a respected unversity abroad
that would dare to host on sabbatical a declared Zionist who has been
pegged as a McCarthyite?
In their false championing of the precious and genuine value of
freedom of expression, the university heads are protecting the real
McCarthyites, those who libel the state and Zionism and who suppress
the brave, decent teachers. The leaders of these institutions have
themselves, as one admitted to me, been threatened with the
McCarthyite label if they stray from the path, but one could still
expect better from them.
Those who believe that they would be able to continuously recruit
these departments to serve the purposes of the radical-left NGOs in
the name of "academic partnership" are wrong. They will never be able
to avoid criticism by terrorizing their critics or by libeling those,
at home or abroad, who expose their real face.
The Council for Higher Education must wake up. If the university
establishment persists in extending full protection to them and their
ilk, and in ignoring the broad public criticism, it will be
responsible for the decline in the public image of the universities,
especially the image of the social sciences and humanities faculties.
2. Even Haaretz writers sick and tired of the leftist denunciations
of everyone with whom they disagree as "fascist" =
3. Apologies for error in yesterday's posting – Eric Cantor will not
be speaker of the House but rather majority leader.
4. Ruth Wisse – as always excellent:
When anti-Semites point fingers
5. Holocaust Denial and Academic Freedom:
6. Olive tree slurs: http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/45868
7. Pestilinian racism:
8. From the Wall St Journal:
Can Israel Be Jewish and Democratic?
Many nations have laws and practices that recognize their majority
group's history, language or religion while also protecting the rights
By DOUGLAS J. FEITH
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently asked Palestinian
peace negotiators to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state. Some
critics have called this move cynical, because Palestinian leaders are
unlikely to offer such an acknowledgment. But others oppose it for a
more basic reason: They claim it is antidemocratic.
Israel, so the argument goes, affronts its non-Jewish citizens by
identifying itself as a Jewish state and by using traditional
religious emblems as official national symbols—for example, the Star
of David on its flag.
Along the same lines, various Israeli intellectuals have proposed
dropping "Hatikvah" (The Hope) as their country's national anthem,
because it refers to the Jewish soul's millenial yearnings for a
return to Zion. A few have urged repeal of Israel's longstanding law
of return, which gives Jews from any country a right to immigrate and
Some Israeli Arabs have advocated that Israel should become a state
identified with no particular ethnic or religious group but rather a
state of all of its individual citizens. Israelis commonly view this
liberal ideal with suspicion, for it has no relation whatever to the
political practices of any countries in the Middle East. Also, Azmi
Bishara, the principal Israeli Arab proponent of "a state of all of
its citizens" and a former member of parliament, outraged many
Israelis by supporting Hezbollah against Israel in the 2006 Lebanon
Israeli law respects the voting, property, religious and other rights
of its Arab citizens (most of them Muslims) who constitute some 20% of
the population. Nevertheless, the ongoing conflict over Palestine has
created bitterness between many of them and their fellow Jewish
citizens. Many Israeli Jews resent what they see as disloyalty on the
part of Israeli Arabs. Many of the latter resent what they see as
their second-class status.
But the larger question of Israel's identity as a Jewish state does
not hinge on the particulars of its Arab citizens' current status.
Rather, it is whether democratic principles are necessarily violated
when Israel asserts a Jewish identity based on the ethnic and
religious heritage of its majority group. That is a matter of interest
to everyone who thinks seriously about self-government.
Israel is by no means unique among democracies in considering itself
the embodiment of the national existence of a specific people. In
fact, most democracies see themselves that way. Most have laws and
practices that specially recognize a particular people's history,
language, culture, religion and group symbols, even though they also
have minorities from other groups.
The United States is unusual in this regard. It is among the most
liberal of democracies, in the sense that it is committed to the
principle that laws should, in general, ignore group identities
(ethnic, religious or regional) and treat citizens equally as
individuals. Canada, Australia and New Zealand—likewise lands of new
settlement—are among the other countries on this liberal end of the
The democracies of Europe and East Asia and those in the former
republics of the Soviet Union, meanwhile, tend to cluster on the
ethnic side of the spectrum. Numerous laws and institutions in those
nations favor a country's principal ethnic group but are nevertheless
accepted as compatible with democratic principles. Christian crosses
adorn the flags of Switzerland, Sweden, Greece and Finland, among
other model democracies, and the United Kingdom's flag boasts two
kinds of crosses.
Several of these democracies have monarchs—and in the U.K., Norway and
Denmark, the monarchs head national churches. France famously protects
the integrity of the French language and the interests of French
speakers, as do pro-French forces in Canada.
Ireland has a law that allows applicants of "Irish descent or Irish
associations" to be exempted from ordinary naturalization rules.
Poland, Croatia and Japan have similar laws of return favoring members
of their own respective ethnic majorities. Many other examples exist.
Israel was founded as a national home for the Jews, recognized as a
nationality and not just a religious group. After Allied forces
conquered Palestine from the Ottomans in World War I, Britain, France,
Italy and other leading powers of the day supported the idea that the
Jewish people, long shamefully abused as exiles throughout the
diaspora, should be offered the opportunity to reconstitute a
Jewish-majority state in their ancient homeland of Palestine.
Those powers planned that the Arabs, whose nationalist leaders from
across the Middle East insisted that they were a single, indivisible
people, would exercise national self-determination over time in Syria,
Lebanon, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Arabia and elsewhere. Britain soon
decided to put the 78% of Palestine east of the Jordan River under
exclusive Arab administration, barring Jewish settlement there.
The British government's wartime Balfour Declaration in favor of a
Jewish national home in Palestine—incorporated verbatim in the
Palestine Mandate, which received League of Nations confirmation in
1922—made a crucial distinction between the collective rights of the
Jewish people in Palestine and the individual civil and religious
rights of the country's non-Jewish residents. The point was that all
such rights, collective and individual, should be honored.
After World War I, numerous ethnic groups achieved statehood. It was
not considered antidemocratic that the Hungarians or Poles, for
example, should establish nations to embody and sustain their
All democratic countries have minority populations. Such countries do
not believe that they have to shed their national ethnic identities in
order to respect the civil, property and other basic human rights of
their minority citizens. The distinction between majority collective
rights to a national home and the individual rights of all citizens
remains important in Israel and in all ethnically-based democracies.
So democracies vary in the degree to which their laws take account of
ethnicity. Their common practices provide an answer to our question:
It is not antidemocratic for Israel to protect its status as a Jewish
state in ways similar to those used by the French, Swiss, British,
Germans, Italians, Lithuanians, Japanese and others to protect the
status of their countries as national homelands.
Mr. Feith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, served as under
secretary of defense from 2001 to 2005. He is the author of "War and
Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism"
Copyright 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Israeli Universities Outraged at Demands that they Behave Ethically
1. Ah. Like the smell of napalm, I just love the sound of liberal whimpering in the morning.
Five Jewish liberals were defeated. Jewish Republican U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will be the new House Speaker. Pennsylvania Senator Joe Sestak, who had intimate ties to CAIR and Islamofascism, lost.
2. We have just seen an advance text leaked from the next issue of Tikkun magazine. It contains a long article by Michael Lerner, Tikkun editor, denouncing California for abandoning Jewish values. First of all, Lerner is enraged that California voters rejected legalizing marijuana. George Soros was among those endorsing the proposed legalization (in the Wall St Journal last week). Lerner and Tikkun would not only like to make pot legal, but mandatory. It is already the main form of decoration on Tikkun succahs.
But then the outgoing Governor of California just changed the ruled regarding the use of welfare debit cards, given to welfare recipients in the state. From now on, they may not use these to pay for going to see psychics. Really. (See http://www.thirdage.com/news/psychics-can-no-longer-accept-welfare-cards-says-gov-schwarzenegger_11-2-2010 )
That was really going to far. Tikkun editors insist that welfare recipients and everyone else should use psychics. That, after all, is how Mikey Lerner chooses his own political causes and positions.
3. Israeli university officials are wetting themselves in a tantrum. It seems the Israeli Minister of Education Gideon Saar wants them to adopt an "ethics code." In it, he wants it to say that faculty members and students will not be victims of discrimination because of their political beliefs. And by that he means that he wants to make sure that non-leftist faculty and students are no longer victimized. No one seriously thinks that leftist faculty at Israeli universities suffer any disadvantages. In fact they RUN the institutions. Saar also wants to include calls by faculty members for boycotts of Israel and endorsements of attacks against Israel as examples of "unethical behavior."
But that has university honchos up in arms. How dare Saar attempt to interfere with their longstanding practices of discriminating against non-leftists while hiring and promoting far leftist anti-Israel extremists having no serious academic records? The tenured Left is screaming that an ethics code will "destroy Israeli academia." See http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/education-minister-urges-new-ethics-code-to-end-row-over-teaching-zionism-1.322553 How dare anyone suggest professors behave ethically!! Saar also wants diversity in university departments, by which he clearly means that non-leftist opinion should be heard and not suppressed.
The University heads are proposing instead that each university adopt its OWN ethical code written internally. You know, codes they have never quite gotten around to formulating over past decades. But this is absurd. The officials at Israeli u7niversities, including at Ben Gurion University, Haifa University and Tel Aviv University, have all come out in the past year in OPPOSITION to the rights of critics of tenured Leftists to criticize them. They demand that such "McCarthyism" be silenced. They have repeatedly failed to defend the academic freedom of non-leftists on campus. The firing of the professor at Ben Gurion University who dared to express a heterodox opinion about children being raised by gay couples is only one example. They have failed to protect freedom of speech within campuses. They themselves have led smear campaigns against the Im Tirtzu student movement. They have totally failed to maintain serious academic standards of excellence. Israeli universities are crawling with extremists who built entire careers upon churning out anti-Israel hate propaganda. And any "ethical code" the campus heads would adopt would be based first and foremost on defending the rights of radical leftist faculty to collaborate with the enemies of Israel, to call for its destruction, to call for world boycotts against Israel, and to endorse Hamas demands.
4. You may recall Dror Feiler, the Israeli far-leftist living in Sweden who created a large "sculpture" celebrating the Palestinian woman suicide bomber who murdered 23 people, many of them children, in the Maxim restaurant attack in Haifa. Feiler's "art" described the murderer as Snow White Pure. The "art" made news when the local Israeli ambassador heroically trashed it. Feiler is the poster boy of the radical Israeli Left and a regular contributor to the "ALEF" anti-Semitic chat list operated by the University of Haifa. His mother is an old-time communist, also an ALEF regular..
Well, it turns out that the very same Feiler was one of the terrorists on that Turkish pro-Hamas flotilla, where Israeli troops were attacked and almost lynched. And now he is whining that Israel took his saxophone when Israeli troops took control of the flotilla ship away from the terrorists. See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3978738,00.html He is coming to Israel to file suit for the sax, accompanying his buddy from the Swedish Green Party, a bloke named (and I am not making this up) Mehmet Kaplan. Feiler should not be confused with that OTHER Israeli expatriate sax player Gilad Atzmon, who is a Holocaust Denier active in the Destroy Israel movement in the UK (see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/2535 ).
5. "2 + 2 = 5" is not an "alternative narrative": http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-palestinian-narrative-is-a-falsification-of-history-1.322588
6. Israel's racist Left discovers "racism": http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=193733
Monday, November 01, 2010
Political Liberalism as a Pseudo-Religion
from the very liberal Jewish Week:
Liberalism Is Not Our Religion
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Special To The Jewish Week
I believe in equality for all. I support civil rights, women's rights,
gay rights, universal health care, feeding the poor, social justice,
separation of church and state, access to education, diversity, the
arts, animal rights (I have not eaten meat or poultry in 33 years),
and more. I marched against the war in Vietnam, protested the bombing
in Cambodia, and advocated for affirmative action.
In terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I met with the
Palestinian leadership, including Yasir Arafat, as part of my peace
activism. I believed, up to a point, in Oslo, and maintain that while
a failure, it was not a mistake. I am hopeful that the two sides will
keep talking until there is a deal.
Still, I have not elevated liberalism to the status of religion. I do
not blindly follow the liberal agenda and my convictions take a
backseat to my commitment to the well-being of Israel and the Jewish
people. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of U.S.
Jews, who have substituted liberalism for Judaism and whose actions
are often governed by misguided priorities. In lieu of traditional
Jewish belief or value systems, many American Jews have adopted what
is essentially a theology of universalism and tikkun olam, or social
justice. In doing so, much of American Jewry has essentially become
When the lives of my family, my friends, and my people are in jeopardy
because we are Jewish, when there are very real threats to the
continued existence of the State of Israel and by extension the Jewish
people, when our enemies have declared that their intention is to
annihilate us and are acquiring tools to this end with the world
standing by, then my pro-humanist beliefs give way to my commitment to
the sanctity and security of Israel and the Jewish people.
American Jewry's loyalty to the liberal political dogma is disturbing
when things are going well for the Jews. But when things are not going
well, this behavior is self-destructive and helps our enemies.
The future of Israel is at stake. Not only is Israel threatened by the
soon-to-be nuclear Iran and its satellites, but its right to exist is
being questioned by a virulent, global delegitimization campaign that
is being led and energized by the academic left and supported by the
elements of the liberal wing. In not speaking out, many Jews are, in
effect, endangering Israel and abdicating their responsibility as
Many American Jews have become distanced from Judaism's larger core
values and are uncomfortable making moral judgements concerning the
distinction between good and evil, which is an inherent part of our
heritage. In addition, many are uncomfortable with the notion of the
exceptionalism of Israel, and even with the exceptionalism of the U.S.
Historically, the vulnerability of diaspora Jews led many to make a
habit of ingratiating themselves to their non-Jewish hosts. For some
Jews, this knee-jerk accommodation, while no longer a survival
technique, seems to have become integrated into the genetic code —
hence, the quintessential galut (diaspora) Jew. History has shown us
over and over again that this approach is ultimately unsuccessful.
Witness the tragic outcomes of previous golden ages of Jewry in Spain,
France, and Germany. We must not allow these genes to express
themselves; we must show strength and become proactive.
When our ancestors were permitted to exit the ghetto, they gravitated
towards those expressing universalist ideas, which were most often
part of the ideology of the left. It was from the universalists that
they experienced the first indications of tolerance. It's therefore
not surprising that they proceeded to derive intellectual sustenance
and a modicum of physical security from the left, hence our historic
loyalty. But today it is the American right that has evolved to the
point where it is much more philo-Semitic and more pro-Israel than the
left. The hawks and the evangelicals among them are the most fervent
supporters of the State of Israel. From the perspective of our own
survival, we must gravitate to, and work with, those who wish us well
and support our standing in the world.
Despite the pacifist attitude espoused by many children of Holocaust
survivors, despite the anti-war rhetoric spouted by many of the Jewish
baby boomers, and despite what for many of us is an innate opposition
to war, ultimately it is only the strength of Israel that earns us the
respect of our enemies. It is not our intellect, not our Nobel prizes,
not our supposed financial acumen. As the Italian-Jewish intellectual
Alain Elkann noted, the only antidote to Auschwitz is Israel — and its
military might. As such, Israel is fighting not only for itself, but
for all Jews. I would argue that by extension, it is fighting for the
well-being of the Western world and its values.
Liberal Jews should be making the case for Israel as a bastion of
liberal values. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a
free press. It is the only true democracy in the Middle East, with
equal rights for women and, in practice, a refuge for gay Arab men
from neighboring countries. In Israel there are no honor killings, no
stonings, no capital punishment, no cutting off of the hands of
Throughout our history there have been Jews who have opted out, and
this is an acceptable reality. What is not acceptable is that today,
entire legions of Jews, in the name of liberalism, are in effect
working against the survival of the Jewish people, whether out of
ignorance, different priorities, or a lack of understanding of the
Confronted with both old and new enemies seeking to destroy us, and
vilified by anti-Zionism — anti-Semitism in new clothes — the majority
of American Jewry needs to look in the mirror, re-examine its
convictions and make a shift.
Abiding by one's political philosophy, values and convictions is a
noble way of living — but not when they are coming to chop your head
off. At that point, and I believe we are there now, one's moral and
political compass needs to revert to survival mode.
Aryeh Rubin is the managing director of The Maot Group, an investment
boutique in Miami, and president of the Targum Shlishi Foundation.
2. This is an interesting blog: http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/
3. The Pseudo-Rabbis of the Rabbis (sic) for Human Rights