With the recent goings-on in Israel, a number of conservatives are wondering why many American Jews still retain sympathy for leftists who unfairly chastise the lone Jewish state. And it’s a good question: From “easterling” at the Daily Kos to James Zogby at The Huffington Post, one can see plenty of outrageously unjust carping at Israel from our friends on the Left. In their telling, Israel is positively overjoyed that its citizens have been abducted and its territory bombed–because this offers the “pretext” for an Israeli military response.
Well, we suppose one terrorist supporter’s “pretext” is a moral man’s “cause.”
We’re sure that the loony Michael Scheuer, with his conspiratorial views of the American Holocaust Museum as a “Zionist plot,” will soon reiterate his hope that the US abandon Israel to Iran and Syria. That ought to stave off the forces of darkness for a few minutes.
With such obtuse arguments aimed at the Jewish state, one may reasonably wonder why so many American Jews still feel a passionate attachment to the political Left. Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t have an authoritative answer to this question, we think that we can suggest a few possibilities.
First, however, we must be fair and mention that not all organs of the political Left unfairly target Israel. Furthermore, the Old Right has its share of anti-Zionist loons: Pat Buchanan and the folks at The American Conservative, for instance.
But surely leftist critics of Israel are more numerous and more populous than their right-wing counterparts. And they’re more respected too. After all, Messrs. Walt and Meirsheimer can attack the “Jewish Lobby” and still be labeled “realists.” At least Buchanan’s loopy anti-Semitism is well known and well publicized.
So, there must be some reason numerous Jews feel more comfortable in a political movement that often vilifies Israel. Sure, most Jews appear more at home with many views associated with the Left. Yet this can’t account for some Jews’ eerie lack of concern for much of the Left’s anti-Israeli cant.
In his interesting book The Oslo Syndrome, Kenneth Levin discusses the long history of pusillanimity and “internalizing the oppressor” in Jewish history. Whereas many Jews have acted nobly in the face of anti-Semitism, others have reacted to such vile prejudice as if it were true. According to Levin, numerous leaders of the American Jewish community during World War II–including, importantly, the publisher at The New York Times–refused to make a big deal about Holocaust, for fear that an example of Jewish concern for Jews would help perpetuate anti-Semitism.
Today, perhaps we see an example of the same phenomenon. Many leftists charge Zionist Jews of harboring dual loyalties and, thus, of being un-American. As far as they’re concerned, America has been duped by the deceased Leo Strauss into fighting “a Jew war.” Although this is a truly outrageous charge, lots of American Jews, afraid of such taunts, resolutely refuse to stand up for themselves. Rather, they go out of their way to demonstrate that they have no particular regard for Israel, and thus they are not guilty of this purported Jewish sin.
If some in the American Jewish community were willing to keep their mouths shut about the Holocaust for fear of stoking anti-Semitism, they’re not bloody well likely to stand up for Israel in the face of terrorist aggression. Other Jews must unjustifiably think that, if they allow Israel to be destroyed, people will leave the Jews alone. They won’t, of course, but the delusioned can have their dreams.
But we suppose that this interest in anti-Zionist Jews obscures a more general phenomenon. After all, many homosexual activists blithely support repressive, anti-gay regimes at the expense of the United States and Israel. Feminists champion the Taliban, provided it wages war with an “imperialist” America. And sundry Christians defend the actions of Muslim terrorists, who aim to rid the world of “the crusaders.” Aren’t these all examples of the same thing?
(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently contemplating a “pretext” to smack James Zogby in the face for his anti-Israeli apologias for terrorism.)