A buddy of mine recently forwarded a very interesting book review by Michael Walzer of David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition in the New York Review of Books.
This was my brief response:
thank you for this.
From my perspective the most prevalent form of anti-Jewish racism in the world today, outside of the Muslim Middle East, comes from the western progressive-left, which is why Walzer’s review begins with a discussion of Marx.
The very political movement that the Jewish diaspora has done the most to bolster is also the political movement that does the most in the west to provide venues and support for anti-Semitic anti-Zionists.
Diaspora Jews have spent most of the last fifty years supporting the efforts of non-Jewish minorities to attain full and equal civil liberties and I am very proud of Jewish participation in efforts such as the Civil Rights Movement.
However, I am convinced that it is now time for the Jewish people to look out for the well-being of the Jewish people. What that means is opposing BDS, the movement to boycott the Jews of the Middle East, and what that means is confronting the western left.
There is simply no way around it.
We do not need to oppose western-left notions of universal human rights and social justice. On the contrary, the Jewish people throughout the diaspora over the last one hundred years have done as much, if not more, than anyone in promoting such values that, in the United States, primarily came out of the progressive-left and the Democratic party.
Sadly, the progressive-left and the Democratic party are vacant shells when it comes to universal human rights and social justice. The reason for this is because they refuse to champion their own values because those values conflict with the multicultural ideal and because conflicting with the multicultural ideal automatically opens one to charges of racism. Thus the progressive-left has virtually nothing to say about Islamic imperialism throughout the Middle East, or the 5.5 million dead in the Congo, or the millions in the Sudan who in recent years were slaughtered or displaced from their homes, or the hundreds of thousands dead and displaced in Syria, or the ongoing Chinese occupation of Tibet.
The progressive-left does not care about any of that, but they still claim to stand for human rights.
They do not.
At this point, unfortunately, to support either the progressive-left or the Democratic party is to support a vastly hypocritical and toxic political movement that provides encouragement, financial and otherwise, to enemies of the Jewish people, while doing nothing for victims of genocide and aggression throughout the world.
Jews support the Left and the Left supports the enemies of the Jewish people.
The Left, via the offices of Barack Obama, even support the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of al-Qaeda and Hamas, and the movement for political Islam throughout the Middle East, more generally.
Perhaps it is time to think in creative ways about reorienting diaspora Jewish political inclinations. We should continue to support social justice and equality of rights, but we must not continue to support political parties or political movements that undermine the well-being of the Jewish people or that undermine the very universal human rights that they pledge to uphold.
We are taken for granted by our false friends on the Left and it is long past time that we make them aware that taking the Jewish people for granted is a significant mistake. We need to tell them this directly and we need to make them understand through our behavior at the ballot box, in our volunteer activities, and in our donations and fundings.
Ultimately, we need to put our allegiance to the Jewish people above our allegiances to political movements that hold no friendship or allegiance to us.
Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.