Sunday, June 08, 2014

  • Sunday, June 08, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Michael Lumish, of the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under, continues his weekly column here at EoZ.



In a recent piece for the Wall Street Journal we read this:

obamajew1
The 1988 Hamas Charter explicitly commits the Palestinian terror group to murdering Jews. Thanks to the formation this week of an interim government uniting Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which the U.S. supports to the tune of more than $400 million a year, the American taxpayer may soon become an indirect party to that enterprise.
Oh, joy.


What can one say?

Not only is the United States government paying for the privilege of helping Jihadis kill Jews, but even Jewish "progressives" are going along with it because they seem incapable of removing their ideological blinders. I am convinced that if Barack Obama came on stage before a live international audience and sang Hatikva while pissing on an Israeli flag and kicking a Holocaust survivor in the head as part of a fun-loving interpretive dance, his American Jewish sycophants would still wonder to themselves how it is that we fail to support the guy.

Western Left diaspora Jews have simply got to face the fact that the Obama government is generally supportive of political Islam.  {Period.  Full stop.}  I understand that your average reader of the Elder of Ziyon already knows that, but therein lies the problem.  Political partisanship and ideological intransigence are disallowing great numbers of diaspora Jews from seeing what is before their very eyes.

If diaspora Jewry would simply wrap their brains around this basic concept, and acknowledge what it means, it would go a long way to healing the divisions within our community.

What it means is this:

Islam, as a political movement, is driving Christians out of the Middle East entirely, with the sole exception of Israel.  Islam, as a political movement, hangs Gay people from cranes in Iran.  Islam, as a political movement, shoves women into potato sacks and tells them it is Allah's love.  And Islam, as a political movement, calls for the murder of Jews wherever we may be found.

And this is what the Obama administration supports?

It is simply unfathomable that year after year, as the Obama administration bolstered the misnamed "Arab Spring" - which was, in fact, the rise of political Islam - our more naive progressive-left Jewish interlocutors kept telling us that Obama does not support political Islam even as he sent money and heavy weaponry to the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of both Hamas and al-Qaeda.

blind1How ideologically blinkered one must be, at this late date, to still not grasp the simple fact the president of the United States has no real problem with the rise of political Islam throughout the world and, as part of the historical record, encouraged it?

I have never in my life seen such determined and persistent political myopia.

In a May 19, 2011 speech billed as Obama's address to the "Arab World" following the widespread violence and rapes and riots and persecution of Christians throughout the region, he tells us.

There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years. In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat.
The "Arab Spring" was the rise of political Islam in the Middle East and this is what Obama compares the Civil Rights Movement to?  How is that for a kick in the head to Martin Luther King, Jr.?  The irony is profound and deep.  We have a president of the United States who would certainly not be the president of the United States were it not for the concerted effort of millions of Americans since the rise of Abolitionism.  This is an American president who came out of the progressive-left, which, itself owes much to the New Deal and to American socialism from the nineteenth century.  Yet he supports the most vicious and international and repressive political movement in the world today and receives applause from the very people that he harms.

And, make no mistake, supporting Hamas is a harm to the Jewish people everywhere.

The only real questions are why?  Why does Obama support political Islam while claiming to be opposed to al-Qaeda, as if al-Qaeda was the end-all and be-all of the movement to advance Sharia?  And why is it that western progressives, and western progressive Jews, go along with it and deny what should be absolutely obvious to any concerned observer?

Some people believe that Obama supports political Islam because he is a crypto-Muslim, but I do not think so. The man is a Christian with Muslim influences from his childhood.  If I was bigoted against African-American Christians with an Islamic heritage I would never have voted for the guy to begin with... yet I did.

{Go figure.}

The fact is, we cannot fight, or in any meaningful way, oppose Islam because Islam is 1.5 BILLION people.  And that, my friends, is a whole lot of people, which is precisely why they are winning the propaganda war in the west.  There cannot be enough hasbara in the world to counter the expression of the political tastes of 1.5 billion people.  From a practical aspect we cannot win such a fight and I do not even know what "winning" against Islam could possibly look like.  Whatever it might look like it would not be the least bit pleasant and the whole notion, promoted by some, that we must oppose Islam, in general, is a terrifically bad idea.

The reason that it is a terrifically bad idea is because it simply cannot succeed and any effort to do so would obviously alienate the kinds of secular Muslims that we need to cultivate and befriend.  There are 13 million Jews and something close to 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.

I have played a few poker hands in my life.  Who would you bet on?

Some people think that Barack Obama wants to harm America's standing in the world. They think that he is a crypto-socialist subversive who wants to take the United States down a peg or two, but that is not true, either. Any actual socialist, that is, anyone who honestly believes in a people's revolution for the purpose of claiming the means of production for the workers, would deny that Obama is one of them.

The bottom line, however, is that American Jewry is in a tough spot.

If we stand up against Barack Obama - as I very definitely learned first hand - it means that in the eyes of many American Jews we must be extremists.  It is unfathomable to the majority of diaspora Jews how any of us could not support the political left.  In fact, this very question of political allegiance is one of the great questions in debate within the international Jewish community today and for the first time in a very long time.

I take that to be a good thing.  For the first time since before the New Deal, American Jews are beginning to question their political allegiances.  It is a long and slow process, for sure, but from anecdotal evidence, at least, it seems to be happening.

pins1Norman Podhoretz had his finger on the pulse when he wondered how it is that so many diaspora Jews are liberal?  The term "liberal" in this case is an American usage that does not really apply.  Secular Jews are almost to a person "liberal" in the sense that we believe in a free press, support democracy, and oppose the kind of fascist authoritarianism characteristic of, say, ohhh, Sharia.  David Horowitz, for example, is unquestionably a liberal.  I, myself, am undeniably a liberal as are the Jews within most of the diaspora left who oppose my positions.

This is thereby an argument within the diaspora liberal community and it is an argument that can turn ugly.

As for just why it is that Obama's Jewish supporters cannot bring themselves to actually acknowledge that which is before their very noses, I have no definitive answer.  My suspicion is that ideological intransigence, buttressed by social imperatives, are largely the culprits.  I grew up in a Democratic home and I doubt that my father even met an adult who had not voted for Franklin Roosevelt until he went into the army.  Growing up in the post-Vietnam War era almost everyone that I knew leaned to the left and it was almost universally understood that Republicans are one of two types, either the rich, white, northern, Anglo, snobbish, elite, i.e., "Rockefeller Republicans" or that other kind from the Deep South.

If we disliked northern Republicans or, say, "Blue State Republicans" - of which there seem to be less and less these days - then we absolutely loathed and feared "Red State Republicans."  Evangelical Christians are among the very best friends that Israel has on this planet and we damn well better keep that in mind going forward, yet progressive-left diaspora Jews absolutely despise those people, the Christian people of the American heartland.

Melanie Phillips has a recent piece in Commentary entitled, 'Jesus Was a Palestinian': The Return of Christian Anti-Semitism, in which she makes the case that Israel is beginning to bleed American Evangelical support due to the concerted propaganda efforts and outreach of the Arab-Muslim world, particularly those Arab Christians who agree with Arab Muslims that Palestinian Jews are the Devil, and who coordinate with the "liberal" protestant sects, such as the Presbyterian Church.

Israel needs all the supporters and partners that it can get and western Jews need to know who their friends are and who they are not.  What could not be more clear is that western Jewry has turned its back on the Evangelicals, who are among the most important supporters of the Jewish State of Israel in this world, while embracing an American president who is eager to fund Hamas.

We have to begin by acknowledging the obvious and, in these circumstances, the obvious, while horrifying, is easily acknowledgeable... at least, for some of us.

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