Jewish Left & Conflict between Multiculturalism & Universal Human Rights

It’s very sad, really.


I am watching my former political home, the American progressive-left, rip itself into ideological pieces.


In an apparent effort to reconcile the irreconcilable – i.e., the multicultural ideal (as represented by Sharia) with universal human rights (as represented by western feminism) – it is throwing Enlightenment liberalism, and with it the tradition of rational discourse, directly into the toilet.


Things have gotten so bad that in the universities the very notion of rational discourse, as we received it from Enlightenment, is increasingly viewed as a racist, sexist, heteronormative social-political construct designed to serve the white patriarchal power structure.


Here, for example, is an uncomfortable truth that illustrates the tension between multiculturalism and universal human rights within the progressive-left, but which they refuse to even discuss:


You cannot favor Sharia and be feminist both at the same time.

Sorry, Linda, but this is one of those reasons why I call my Elder of Ziyon blog “Acknowledging the Obvious.”


I have no doubt that since Linda Sarsour recently sprang into the national spotlight off the political corpse of Hillary Clinton that there have been any number of people trying to square this circle. If someone can point me to a source wherein that was accomplished – where Sharia law and feminism were intellectually reconciled –  I would like to learn of it because maybe I am wrong.


What do I know? I make no claims of expertise in Sharia.


All I know with certainty is that the Jews who refused to allow themselves to be chased out of Israel by the Romans faced thirteen centuries of oppression and persecution under that juridical philosophy in the centuries between Muhammad and the Ottoman defeat in World War I.


A mere thirteen centuries.


Although the rules of “dhimmitude” varied from place to place and century to century within the Islamic world, Jews, along with other dhimmis, like Christians and Zoroastrians, could not build homes on land above those of Muslims. We could not ride horses. We could not carry weaponry and had no rights of self-defense, nor access to courts of law. While the Byzantines may have used the area around the Western Wall for a garbage heap, the Muslims simply built a mosque above what was the Hebrew Temple and declared the holiest site of the Jewish people as forever non-Jewish.


And it is not as if this is merely some abstract, irrelevant, historical detail from the past.


It is not as if I am merely holding a historical grudge.


It is ongoing.


It is at this historical moment, like every other for century upon century, that popular Islamic preachers regularly call for the murder of Jews. Yet much of the left provides them with cover by portraying the Jews in the Middle East as the oppressors of the innocent “indigenous Arab” population.


Thus, if an American Jew, such as myself, so much as suggests that keeping jihadis out of the United States is a good idea we are subject to progressive-left contempt. Who are we, after all – we grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jewish immigrants from the Pale of Settlement – to deny succor to Arab children of war? Who are we beneficiaries of American generosity to deny that generosity to others?


These would be terrific questions were they not entirely otherwise.


Most Jews do not want to see jihadis move in next door because Sharia is a political theory that spells violent Jewish subjugation. Opposing the Jihad is no more prejudicial toward Muslims than opposing Nazism was prejudicial toward Germans. We do not have a problem with Muslim immigration into the United States. We do have a tremendous problem, however, with the importation of the Jihad into the United States as we are seeing currently in Europe.


Jihadism is a theo-political philosophy, an aspect of Islam, that calls for the spread of Sharia throughout the world. People who oppose the rise of political Islam are constantly told that all Muslims are not Jihadis.


Let me assure you that we know this, already, but that is not the point.


We also know that this rhetorical tactic is a diversion. It is a method of evading the necessary national conversation around immigration policy. But, if anyone thinks that opposing the Jihad is the same as opposing Muslims, in general, then it is they who think of all Muslims as crazed head-choppers seeking the reinstitution of the Caliphate, not their political opponents.


Meanwhile, the Democratic Party and the progressive-left are basically telling their Jewish constituency that if we wish to remain in good-standing we must embrace the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people from a culture that despises us and harasses our kids on university campuses throughout the West.


These are the same universities that turn a blind eye, or – as in the case of San Francisco State University – actually support and defend student groups calling for the murder of Jews. When the anti-Zionist contingent at SFSU confronted the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, on that campus, they cried out, “Intifada! Intifada! Long live the intifada!” This is nothing less than shouting for the racist murder of the Jewish people directly into the face of a prominent Jewish leader among Jewish students and staff at an allegedly “liberal” college.


The irony is rich.


Nonetheless, SFSU president Leslie Wong believes that the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) “is the very purpose of this great university.”


The reason for all of this ideological chaos and inconsistency is because the progressive-left is increasingly anti-liberal and thus increasingly in opposition to its own professed values.


credit: The Daily Lion.

We see it at UC Berkeley when leftists beat the holy crap out of Trump supporters or pepper-spray them in the streets.

We see it when they demand ideological conformity over free speech and, thus, undermine not only the honest interrogation of ideas, but the very foundation of social justice, to begin with.


Ultimately the tension between multiculturalism and universal human rights is undermining Enlightenment liberalism. In the ongoing, but largely unspoken, tension between these twin progressive-left ideologies multiculturalism is slowly devouring universal human rights and liberalism along with it.


This decline in significance of universal human rights led, in recent decades, to the progressive-left and Democratic Party betrayal of women, Gay people, and minorities throughout the Middle East, the emergence of the new politically-correct racism at home, suppression of freedom of speech on the campuses, and the rise of left-leaning antisemitic anti-Zionism throughout the West.


The progressive-left has, in fact, betrayed us all, particularly those of us who counted on it the most.

Originally posted at Israel Thrives

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  1. Michael, I share your dismay at what has happened to the Left, which was also my home base until it became fascistic and intolerant. What they cannot acknowledge is that Islam does not subscribe to universal human rights, because of its supremacist ideology, and has it’s own Cairo Declaration of Human Rights.

    The Left has betrayed its supporters by embracing intolerance, including suppression of free speech and oppression of women and children in the name of cultural diversity.

    • It’s like they passed a line between the liberal-left and the anti-liberal left without even knowing it. The western-left is shedding Enlightenment liberalism, Pam.

  2. With respect Michael….(a sincerely meant question), what is the ideology of the “Progressive Left”…. you referred to in your first paragraph?

    • Ditto.

    • This is an Americanism that, as someone accustomed to writing for an American audience, I forget is not universally understood within the English-speaking world.

      Progressivism was the 19th century political movement that would eventually emerge in the 20th century as the New Deal.

      That is about as broad-stroke as you can get while conveying the central idea. It emphasized government responsibility for the well-being of the citizenry.

      The way we generally distinguish Left from the “progressive-left” in the US today – or, at least the way that I do so – is through putting FDR and Malcolm X through the ideological meat-grinder.

      What comes out on the other side is the current American “progressive-left” and it represents the dominant form of left-leaning politics in the US today.

      It is a combination of semi-democratic socialism and western identity politics.

      Sadly, the “democratic” part seems to be eroding these days… as we saw in the streets of Berkeley recently.

      • Thank you for the detailed information you have provided…it is appreciated. I have often heard this term, and wondered along which route it travelled.

        Without meaning to appear negatively indifferent, I have always harboured a stand off approach…(very much so)…to anything that leans too far to the left of centre…and for that matter, too far to the right…..opting for what I hope is a civilised social conscience, and a freedom aspiring humanitarian direction…accepting what I believe is the worth of a capitalistic system of endeavour….for all its’ shortcomings.

        Given the number of Australian’s of late…some of who I have admired….exclaiming their preference for the political Left, I thought I had best attempt to achieve a better understanding of the subject.

        My thoughts get way laid though, when I see, hear and read of the Left and Islam chumming up with each other….when commonsense alone tells me that their relationship is for no more than expediency sake…their separate,, and near differing ideologies, being like chalk and cheese to each.

        Anyhow MIchael, thank you for providing your take on the subject…I’ll plod along trying to rationalise the whole gambit of this warped love affair they have going with each other. –

  3. I emphatically do not favor a ban on general Muslim immigration into the United States. However, two things are necessary. The first is opening a general conversation within the US concerning immigration policy. We cannot have a rational immigration policy without a rational discussion and we cannot have a rational national discussion until Democrats and progressives stop suggesting that those of us who do not favor open borders are vile racists.

    That is problem number 1 and the problem that I am primarily interested in.

    The next set of problems, of course, revolve around how we separate Sharia-advocates from the non-Sharia-advocating variety. I do not know. What I do know is that any Jew with two brain-cells to rub together understands that we must keep the Jihad out of the US.


    We had 1,300 years of that crap. We’re done with it.


    So, yes, it comes with a whole series of questions and difficulties that will need to be addressed by many people. I do not have all the answers. I am merely raising fundamental questions and putting forth commonsense ideas.

    One commonsense idea, if we have any respect whatsoever for the Muslim people, is to take the rise of political Islam (“Jihadis” “Islamism”) seriously. This is particularly true given the fact that in recent decades they keep reminding us of just how serious they are from Jerusalem to Paris to San Bernardino, California.

    Y’know, my father was an immigrant from the town of Medzhybizh, Ukraine. He passed through Ellis Island in the arms of my grandmother during the 1920s. They came with nothing and my grandfather died in Argentina before they even received visas into the United States. So my grandmother came alone with my 2 years old father.

    But they came legally.

    And they did not come out of a culture that despised any ethnic group with murderous rage. Nor did they hold to a political-theological ideology that called for the submission of all non-Jews.

    I do not give a damn about any persons skin color or ethnicity or the religion that they self-identify as.

    I only care if they want to spread a familiar ideology of dominance into the West.