Sunday, August 21, 2011
Posted by Lawrence W. White MD at 6:28 PM
In a recent article in FresnoZionism, Victor Rosenthal discusses the failure of many Reform Congregations to deal with the importance of Israel. It is useful to ask why this is.
There is much anti-Israel rhetoric in America (it is even worse in the UK and in European countries). Much of it comes from Jews, whose religion is left wing political action. All one has to do is to look at J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, Michael Lerner, MECA, Women in Black, and the entire boycott Israel movement, to realize the double standard, the demonization, the delegitimation, and the ongoing dishonest calumny, facing the Jewish state.
Those Jews engaged in anti-Israel rhetoric believe that they are isolated from charges of anti-Semitism. Yet the failure to critique nations with horrible human rights records while continually slamming Israel, using dishonest "facts" and obscene language, simulating humanitarian concerns for everyone but Jews; what is this if not anti-Semitism?
Take for example Norman Solomon, a candidate for a Congressional seat in the California district that includes Marin. Here is what he has to say;
"Israel's treatment of Palestinian people has amounted to methodical and despicable violations of human rights. Yet criticism of those policies from anyone (including American Jews such as myself) routinely results in accusations of anti-Jewish bigotry."
Perhaps I missed it, but I have heard nothing from Norman Solomon about abuses in Iran, Syria, China, Myanmar, Sudan, Chechnya, etc. No, in progressive circles, it has become chic to criticize Israel, and only Israel.
It is past time for Jews to get a pass simply because they call themselves Jews. Many have infiltrated campus Hillel organizations. Others have taken over Reform congregations. Others have become involved in dishonest and inflammatory rhetoric, often in the form of scholarly articles in Tikkun or in the Nation. And many have become academics on campuses of leading colleges, where they intimidate Jewish students, contributing to an environment of anti-Jewish hostility on our best campuses, including the University of California system. .
Vic Rosenthal is measured in his concerns about his Reform Congregation. Yet when one looks at the mission statement of many Reform Temples, Israel is often left out. And the selection of a J Street and New Israel Fund activist to lead the Reform movement shows a complete lack of awareness of the importance of a Jewish homeland, and how important this is for those of us who still remember the events of the Shoah.
In the 1940s an organization called the American Council for Judaism, funded by wealthy American Jews, worked hard in lobbying against the birth of a Jewish state. We are seeing a resurgence of their mission 65 years later, as young Jews, ignorant of history, are actively promoting the "new" anti-Semitism. Those of us who care about the Jewish homeland, Jews and non-Jews, must be vocal in our support for Israel and our condemnation of the anti-Semites in our midst.