Jewish Liberals and Israel: Managing the Enemy
Philip Weiss expressed his surprise that “liberal” rabbis would support buying products produced at a West Bank settlement. Of course, this is not too surprising, and one of his readers called him on it. In the reader’s experience, there are plenty of rabbis who are
progressive on issues such as labor, immigration, environment, capital punishment, etc. … They say they feel for the plight of the Palestinians, but when it comes to any real challenge to the status quo, such as BDS in any form, they are not to be found. Their voices during the Lebanon and Gaza invasions were there in mild, but very mild, criticism. They spend most of their time on the Middle East “reaching out to our Muslim brothers.” I must say they are very supportive of Muslim groups and Islamic mosques when it comes to anti-Muslim discrimination. But, there is an unstated and sometimes stated price for these folks to pay, which is “be gentle on Israel, be critical of certain measures, such as house demolitions, but be understanding in general.”
Since I work with the same Muslim groups, going back several years ago I found their deference to their “liberal Jewish friends who are so supportive of us” to be very frustrating. But, fortunately, these are not foolish people and they have now seen the ploy. As a result, while interfaith dialogue between liberal Jewish clergy and Muslims still exists, it is pretty much window dressing and Muslim groups are much more outspoken on Palestinian issues. But, in conclusion, liberal/progressive Jewish clergy in the LA area set back support for Palestinian rights like Wiesenthal Center, ADL and AIPAC never could; and I believe that was their role.
In my experience, it’s the same with secular Jewish academics: constantly reaching out to all non-White groups, including Muslims, and advocating all things multi-cultural. Paragons of tolerance and moral uplift, they are quick to make minor criticisms of Israel but never suggest that the US government or American Jews abandon their support for Israel or seriously question the settlement project. Their goal is to seek Muslim cooperation in the assault on White America while channeling Muslim outrage at Israel to manageable levels. In faculty email debates, the Jewish professors do all the talking, while their Muslim colleagues defer to them. So there were no peeps of protest by the Muslims when the Jewish activist professors ignored my suggestion that they channel all that moral outrage at intolerance, violations of human rights, and ethnic cleansing by directing their activism at changing policy in Israel.
People like Weiss and organizations like J Street function to give Judaism a softer veneer that is consistent with post-racial, multicultural America without having any effective influence on the “ethnocentric arrogance” at the heart of Judaism or even lessening the support of the Israel Lobby for Israel as an apartheid, racialist state. Yet liberal Jews with many of the same beliefs as Weiss are the main bulwark of the left in America that has so successfully pathologized any sense of ethnocentrism by Whites — and only Whites.
The fact that Juan Williams was immediately fired by NPR (headed by Chief Executive Vivian Schiller and Ellen Weiss, head of the news division) for saying he was afraid to fly on a plane with Muslims is yet another example of liberal Jews showing their commitment to the alliance with Muslims in multicultural America. But don’t expect them to become seriously critical of Israel.
Weiss’s commentator contrasts organizations like the ADL with liberal rabbis. But they are as one when it comes to supporting Muslims as part of the non-White coalition. Here’s Abe Foxman cataloging all the ways that the ADL supports the political and cultural aims of Muslims in America. The only difference between liberal Jews and the ADL is that the ADL can’t find any fault with Israel.
So the overall picture is that Jews have a good cop/bad cop thing going: Criticism of Israel is performed within very narrow boundaries with liberal Jews careful not to upset the basic status quo in Israel or the relationship between Israel and the US, while Foxman and the ADL legitimize the hard line ethnic cleansing policies in the mainstream media and in political process.
And all sides join together in the crusade against White America.
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