The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is yet another in the seemingly endless procession of lavishly-funded “charities” devoted to promoting ethnic chauvinism amongst American Jews. Last year, saying it
protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning),
it spent $42 million: it reported $185 million in assets.
Kevin MacDonald has remarked that Jewish operations of this type devote what to outsiders seems an inordinate amount of energy in mutual self-congratulation — some kind of bonding process apparently. The JFNA’s particular contribution for the past three years has been running an online poll to select the “Jewish Community Hero of the Year”. Last year over 300,000 votes were cast.
This year the contest has produced a vivid demonstration of the savagery with which the Jewish community polices itself and extrudes dissenters. Mitchell Plitnick at The Third Way: Finding Balance In Mideast Analysis reports:
The Jewish Federation has been running a poll to recognize “Jewish heroes.” My friend and colleague, Cecilie Surasky, had been doing rather well in the voting. And then, suddenly, she was simply deleted
She disappeared without a word, without notice and without explanation. The deletion came the day after San Francisco’s major Jewish weekly, J, published an article remarking on Cecilie’s being in the running and in the top 10 in polling in her category. And then, in classic Orwellian fashion, Cecilie became an unperson in the poll.
Obviously as a former JVP staffer I’m outraged. But one can’t help laughing at the stupidity of the Fed here. I mean, on Yom Kippur eve, no less, they give the absolute definitive example of muzzling to none other than the founder and driving force behind Muzzlewatch, the blog which describes its purpose as “Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.”
We stand by our Muslim friends and neighbors against anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry.
At MuzzleWatch, Cecilie Surasky’s own discussion of the event observes that the JFNA has quite happily kept on as a candidate one Rabbi Manis Friedman:
When asked by Moment Magazine a few years ago, “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?”, this was Friedman’s response as reported in the Forward:
“The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle),” Friedman wrote in response to the question posed by Moment Magazine for its “Ask the Rabbis” feature…
“I don’t believe in Western morality,” he wrote. “Living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations who suffer defeat because of a disastrous morality of human invention.”
As I write Rabbi Friedman is 5th in the “Career Heroes” section.
Reporting this story, the Failed Messiah blog adds
But its top vote getter so far is Leah Rubashkin, convicted felon Sholom Rubashkin’s wife and the sister-in-law and aunt of convicted felons Moshe Rubashkin and his son Sholom (jr.). Leah is the daughter-in-law of Aaron Rubashkin, who stole union dues from his immigrant employees. And Leah Rubashkin has never repudiated any of these crimes…
The litany of Rubashkin crimes also includes massive humane slaughter law violations and EPA violations. The humane slaughter violation led to the worst and most publicized scandal in the history of kosher food in America
(Failed Messiah has a whole section devoted to the extraordinary Rubashkin/Agriprocessors scandal.)
As I write, Mrs. Rubashkin is still first in the “Volunteer Heroes” section.
For outsiders, it is not a surprise to find Jews hero-worshipping objectively bad apples. It is clear that the adulation of Bernie Madoff was despite (possibly even because) many fellow Jews thought he was able to break the insider trading rules with impunity. Jewish White collar criminals are routinely welcomed in the Jewish community, typically along with generous donations to Jewish causes.
But what is worth remark is the willingness of the JFNA to look like Stalinist political police, to prevent Jewish Voice for Peace getting any publicity. This is another indication of Jewish antipathy to free speech, either in their own communities or the wider society. Obviously Cecilie Surasky, representing a minute segment of Jewish opinion, was never in the end going to do very well once more usual Jewish voting was energized. But the JFNA felt it had the power to repress all discussion — so it did.
Mayor Bloomberg’s abuse of power over the Republican Debate stems from a long tradition. This being so, non-Jewish opinion is certain to get short shrift.
Jewish Voice for Peace’s own discussion of this atrocity thoughtfully notes the surprising (given that they dumped Surasky) fact that
prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, journalist Max Blumenthal remains on the nominee list.
Anyone willing to give a real email address can vote.
I just did.