Among the many groups for whom I feel absolutely no sympathy is the Jewish Left – which has lately been agonizing over the prevalence of Jew-hatred at antiwar rallies.
Signs comparing Israelis to Nazis and identifying Jews as the enemies of humanity have become de rigueur at (you should pardon the expression) peace rallies.
Jewish leftists – at least those who still feel a connection to the Jewish people – are dismayed.
An article in the January 27 Contra Costa (California) Times calls our attention to the San Francisco Anti-Defamation League’s first conference on how progressives “can protect themselves against anti-Semitism – from the liberal Left.”
Among other examples of tolerance and brotherhood cited by the Times, at one San-Fran demonstration last year, Arabs chanted “Jews are our dogs.”
According to the article, many on the lox-and-cream-cheese Left is upset with former President Pinhead’s latest book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid – which condones suicide bombings. (Carter calls on peaceful Palestinians to stop terrorist attacks if Israel begins “respecting international law” – rolling over and playing dead. )
Jewish progressives wonder why the movement seems to single out Israel for hysterical denunciations, and if their comrades haven’t replaced “Israel” for “Jew” in the old anti-Semitic formulation. (Try to imagine Carter writing a book called Saudi Arabia: Equality Not Misogyny or Iran: Democracy Not Theocracy.)
Regarding the group-therapy for Jewish leftists, Jonathan Bernstein, director of the ADL’s San Francisco regional office, says, “We have heard from so many people who feel ostracized and alone and don’t really know what to do with this problem.” Bernstein complains that said good people shouldn’t “have to pick between being Jewish and whatever worthwhile cause.”
That some Jewish leftists are uncomfortable with the movement’s uglier antics is surely one of humanity’s great tragedies – ranking right up there with the heartbreak of psoriasis.
According to organizers, the conference (which was held the following weekend) would include a discussion of “coping strategies,” “having a rally within a rally,” and “on the spot responses to hurtful language.” Wow, “on the spot responses to hurtful language” – talk about getting tough with anti-Semitism.
I’m reminded of a Woody Allen movie where the comedian is at a cocktail party and some of his Upper East Side friends start discussing how to respond to the Nazis marching in New Jersey. One suggests putting on a satirical play parodying the brown shirts. An agitated Allen says that – harsh as that may be – instead, perhaps they should consider getting rocks and clubs and beating the Nazis to a bloody pulp.
Now that’s a coping strategy I can relate to.
Leftist anti-Semitism is as old as the Left. Since the French Revolution, polemicists have cast Israelites as the quintessential capitalist exploiters – never mind the prevalence of Jews in various socialist movements. (Voltaire charged that the Jews were “born with a raging fanaticism in their hearts.”)
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (the father of modern socialism and anarchism) – who coined the expression “Property is theft” – explained:
“The Jew is by temperament an anti-producer. He is an intermediary, always fraudulent and parasitical, who operates, in trade and in philosophy, by means of falsification, counterfeiting, and horse-trading.”
What then should be done with this irredeemably anti-social element? “The Jew is the enemy of mankind,” Proudhon advised. “It is necessary to send this race back to Asia, or exterminate it…By fire or fusion, or by expulsion, the Jew must disappear.” Said genocidal raving predated the Holocaust by a century.
Karl Marx, old Uncle Fuzzy-Whiskers (the scion of a German-Jewish family that had converted to Christianity for social position) explained the Jewish problem this way: “What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.”
No wonder Hitler and Stalin got on famously, until that unfortunate incident of June of 1940.
After the fall of the Third Reich, the Soviet Union became the worldwide nexus of anti-Semitism.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, anti-Semitism’s Mecca shifted to – well, Mecca. In the Moslem world, Mein Kampf, and “The Protocols of Zion” are best-sellers and rabid Jew-hatred is standard fare in political, religious and cultural discourse. So, naturally, Islam has become the Left’s pet religion and Islamacism its principal ally.
Besides an unremitting animus toward the Jewish state, the antiwar Left has embraced many of the old anti-Semitic stereotypes of its revolutionary forebears. Feminist author Phyllis Chesler observes: “The Jews and the Jewish state have become the symbol of Satanic America, capitalism, imperialism, colonialism.”
Consider Noam Chomsky – Hugo Chavez’s favorite philosopher. Sure he wants to see Israel destroyed, and trusts in the good will of Hamas and Fatah for the safety of those Jews left in Palestine. Sure he associates with Holocaust-deniers. And sure he admires Iran’s version of Jack The Ripper. But is the Jewish-born Chomsky an anti-Semite?
In a 2002 interview with a Palestinian solidarity group, Chomsky declared, “By now, Jews in the U.S. are the most privileged and influential part of the population.”
When a Marxist says someone’s “privileged” it means they’re getting something they didn’t earn and don’t deserve.
Chomsky hates American society. Thus the avatar of the New Left and leading intellectual light of the antiwar movement is saying that Jews have risen to the top of a rotten, corrupt culture that spreads war, famine and misery across the globe. Did they attain that favored status by dint of their virtues?
For today’s Left, the Jew is the corporate executive, exploiting his workers, raping the environment and reaping obscene profits. He’s the globalist, pushing a world economy run by multinationals. He’s the neo-con manipulating the White House and Congress to engineer a war with Iran – to enhance Israel’s security. He’s the quintessence whatever the left despises at any particular point in time.
And not just the loony Left, not just the fringy Left – but the establishment Left.
Toward the middle of last month, in an online posting at Arianna Huffington’s website, retired general and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark was asked why he thought America would attack Iran.
Clark replied: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”
Why the Israeli press, and not the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh, or Fox News? And, in case you haven’t guessed it, “the New York money people” isn’t code for Episcopalians.
In his 2004 campaign, Howard Dean urged that regarding Israel and the Palestinians, the United States should adopt an “even-handed” approach. This is another way of saying that between an historic ally and a people who invariably side with our enemies and never miss a chance to tell us how much they hate our guts, America should be strictly impartial.
Any objections from Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to Carter’s vile comparison of Israel to South Africa’s former white supremacist regime? Not that I’m aware of.
Is the Democratic Party anti-Semitic or merely soft on anti-Semitism? Nothing could be more damning than the party of Old Joe Kennedy’s embrace of Al Sharpton – the man who sparked a full-scale pogrom in Crown Heights in 1991 and a massacre at Freddy’s Fashion Mart in 1995. (Instead of “New York money people,” Sharpton prefers “diamond merchants with blood on their hands” and “interlopers.”)
During the 2000 campaign, Al Gore obediently appeared at a Sharpton-organized debate at Harlem’s Apollo Theater – which would be comparable to George Bush carrying the torch at a cross-burning.
Anywhere you look on the Left, you’ll find spiritual descendants of the Cossacks and storm troopers – anti-Semites or those who condone anti-Semitism.
Peace and justice don’t grow in a cesspool. Instead of kvetching about “hurtful language” and devising “coping strategies,” Jewish leftists – those who are more Jewish than leftist – should reconsider their “whatever worthwhile cause.” ...Which may not be that worthwhile after all.
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