Wednesday, May 26, 2010

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
In response to my post about Marjorie Ingall's column in Tablet, Stan took offense at my overly broad characterization of American Jewish liberals:

I agree with your analysis of this person's point of view but to title the post. "The problem with American Jewish liberals, personified"  is offensive, and ridiculous.  This title would never characterize me, as an American Jewish Liberal. It demeans people like Alan Dershowitz and countless others who have worked tirelessly for Zionism and will proudly declare themselves American Liberals.
After a bit of thought, Upon reflection, I think that the main problem is with young Jewish liberals. The major pro-Israel American liberals seem to have all been born before 1960, certainly before 1970. The younger ones have grown up reading the media after 1967, when Israel was no longer regarded as the underdog and therefore (almost by definition) the oppressors. So, indeed, there are very pro-Israel American Jewish liberals, but they are aging - and they have not done a great job at finding replacements.

Sshender wrote:
The Tinok SheNishba analogy is interesting, although for me it conjures up purely religious context, whereby me and my fellow Israeli atheists were referred to as such online (without the slightest hint of irony) by religious crackpots who in turn can't even fathom the idea that what they've been brainwashed into from infantfood, may, just may, not be entirely likely or true.

On a broader sense, your claim that without knowing one's roots and traditions (i.e. Judaism) one is inevitably doomed to oblivion (at least nation-wise) is quite a challenge to us - who in spite of losing our faith in god (or having never entertained one at all) still identify themseleves as Jews first and foremost, and who passionately support the idea of Jewish self determination. There might be a grain of truth to it, but don't you feel that this kind of support or association is NOT being done for the RIGHT reasons? It takes little effort and thought to associate yourself with a group you belong with and support them with no reservation. This is the default position of most human being and is compatible with what we know about human nature in general. the problem is, that for the most part that identification with the group is the default gut feeling reaction with little if any objective thought given to the weight of the pros and cons of your position. To sum up, I see little virtue of supporting Zionism on the sole principle of being born and raised a Jew (whether religious or secular). I do, otoh, think that Zionism deserves my (and all civilized peoples') support for its substance, values and background. I admit that being a Jew myself makes me somewhat biased in favour of it, but I assure you that the reason for my support of Israel are strictly non-tribal, but humanistic, universalist and practical ones. One does not need a Judaistic moral compass to study history and take sides.

Now, as I see it, what's stopping other Liberal minded Jews from identifying with Zionism is largely their ignorance and the anti-Israel propaganda being fed to them from all over. Moreover, "thanks" to post-modernist notions of relativism, multiculturalism and PC in general many people who call themselves liberals have completely lost their ways and can no longer tell right from wrong. This woman embodies many of these themes. If Liberal Jews were taught about the history surrounding the conflict by scholars instead of propagandists, if the media actually took their declared journalistic principles seriously and if absolute norms of right and wrong were being adhered to, then Jewish secular Liberals would have been making the obvious choice that best suites their values and reason, which largely coincides with the tenets of mainstream Zionist thought.

To make a long story short, while it is true that secularization among Jews has divided their ranks, the cure, it seems to me is not getting back to religion, but to try and get the much needed and missing objective truth out there for the liberal Jews to see and decide for themselves whether it is compatible with their Liberal views. I think we'd be pleasantly surprised by the results. What more, instead of tribal support (which is great for brute force but holds little argumentative sway) we will get more critical and though-out supporters of Israel who can defend Israel on the world stage much better and more effectively counter the lies against it by solid facts and appeals to their liberal counterparts in a language they understand and empathize with.

My response was: I am not going to argue against any initiative that educates young liberal American Jews about the reality of Zionism, believe me! And I do understand and respect where you are coming from.

My view is that, beyond that, we have to think in terms of how to survive and thrive over centuries, not years. I don't see a secular Zionism or a secular Judaism as having a chance of doing that. Even the secularism of Ben Gurion and Abba Eban was infused with a sense of history, of culture, and of peoplehood that might make today's secular Jews uncomfortable.

For example, here was part of what Ben Gurion told the Peel commission in 1936:
More than 3300 years ago, long before the Mayflower, our people left Egypt, and every Jew in the world, wherever he is, knows what day they left. And he knows what food they ate. And we still eat that food every anniversary. And we know who our leader was. And we sit down and tell the story to our children and grandchildren in order to guarantee that it will never be forgotten. And we say our two slogans: ‘Now we may be enslaved, but next year, we’ll be a free people.’ “. . . Now we are behind the Soviet Union and their prison. Now, we’re in Germany where Hitler is destroying us. Now we’re scattered throughout the world, but next year, we’ll be in Jerusalem. There’ll come a day that we’ll come home to Zion, to the Land of Israel. That is the nature of the Jewish people.

This is not logic, it is emotional. The best way for emotions to span generations is a strong belief system that gets taught, by parents directly to children. The bias that makes you uncomfortable is a good thing, but I agree that support for Israel must be both innate and intellectual.

Raise your children to love their people first; then explain why.
More coming up...

EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty Amnesty 2022 analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence CAIR Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day CEDAW Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision CJ Werleman Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum David Miller Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features Fervent Embrace fisking flood libel flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nasser al-Lahham Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive