The following article (after the break) is a repost from December 2011. Last week’s ill-conceived and insulting letter published by some self-important, egocentric, self-styled “Jewish-American leaders” demanding Israel take chances for peace, while ignoring the historical and political realities of the Middle East, prompted a review of my reasons to remain unattached to the larger Jewish-American community.
Last week a group of liberal-progressive self-appointed Jewish “leaders” sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu telling him that it is time for Israel to make painful concessions for peace. Ironically President Obama said that there would be no pre-conditions for peacetalks. Yet many of the letter’s authors were either former or present major Obama supporters, through their affiliation with his campaign or through anti-Israel JStreet. Surprisingly, these individuals didn’t care what President Obama said, or suspiciously, they are working on behalf of the President and his words in Jerusalem actually meant nothing. Either way this letter is an insult to the democratically elected leader and the citizens of the State of Israel.
These unelected Jewish-Americans have decided that the Israeli people are either too stupid or too backwards to be able to decide for themselves their future. The condescension is revolting. These Jewish-Americans have decided that the lack of peace in the Middle East is all Israel’s fault and it is the unwillingness of Israeli parents to risk the lives of their children that prevents peace. These Jewish-Americans have decided that Israel should risk their sons and daughters on the alter of these particular Jewish-Americans’ progressive politics. Not of course that these same Americans are willing to risk their own children for their politics, not by any means. It is beyond Machiavellian, nay beyond evil, to decide to sacrifice someone else’s child on the altar of your politics.
Deciding that another person’s child should die to facilitate your place in the progressive-” it’s all Israel’s fault”- movement is exactly what these self-appointed Jewish-Americans are demanding of their Jewish brethren in Israel. When each and every one of this letter’s signatories has a child on the frontlines of the IDF, then let them talk about sacrifices for peace. Until that time they need to go back into their communities and try to remember what is actually written in the Torah about the right of Jewish self-defense instead of trying to rewrite Torah to suit their politics.
The fact that Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza turned Gaza into a haven for Hamas terrorists has no bearing on these Jewish-American individuals’ sense of reality. That the PA spouts Nazi-like antisemitism on a daily basis, the latest being a rendition of the blood-libel during the recent Passover holiday, is inconsequential to these American tosspots. It seems for these Jewish-Americans that when history collides with progressive-political doctrine, reality loses out to delusion.
Luckily at least one Jewish group, The Emergency Committee for Israel, wrote their own letter in support of the Israeli populations’ right to decide their own future, like any other nation-state.
As I have always noted, there is a huge difference between telling Israel how to defend herself and demanding the right for all branches of Judaism to be respected and acknowledged by the religious authorities in Israel. One involves Israel’s security, which is life and death. The other is a question of the extent of religious doctrine. One involves child sacrifice. The other is merely a theocratic argument, an argument Jews have had for thousands of years. These topics are far from equal questions and not the purview of every Jew.
The following are reposts of why I left the Reform movement. It was not an easy decision for my family, but a necessary one. No, we have not become more religious, we just have an abiding loyalty to telling the truth about liberal/progressive politics, Israel and the direction of the modern Jewish-American world. Something the URJ and its leadership seems incapable of doing.
Meanwhile as an avenue for background, here are the two posts I wrote about the issues surrounding my own JStreet affiliated former rabbi…
Rabbi Conundrum Part One
Rabbi Conundrum Part Two
If you ever thought that Reform Judaism was no more than a shill for leftist politics and self-important entitled Jewish Americans read the latest screed to come out their convention. You were right. Glad I woke up and decided you are who your friends are. I definitely don’t want to be associated with the Reform movement anymore. Besides the fact that they simplify Judaism to make it convenient for the masses; wouldn’t want the congregants to need to make being Jewish a commitment to something outside of themselves, the reform movement now quite clearly says if you don’t agree with our politics you are not welcome. In other words, if you are too stupid to think like us you are not welcome. We will disregard your politics, your perspectives and your thought process. If not why did they elect such a political individual to run the movement? Not every rabbi is involved in politics. Not every rabbi makes their private views known. Not every rabbi goes beyond their mandate of religious education. It truly is insulting and smacks of hubris.No I am not religious, but at least I am honest about it. I don’t pretend to be something I am not. I know who I am and where I come from. I know religion, history, politics and reality. I also don’t need a rabbi to tell me how to think, act and believe. I unlike them do not need to believe that God is on my side when it comes to politics or my understanding of right and wrong. I am adult enough to think for myself and take responsibility for my actions. (By the way, this goes for any in the orthodox Jewish community as well, who need God to supplement their political beliefs.)
Case in point, the reform rabbis who insinuated themselves into the political machinations in Wisconsin by saying that to be Jewish you need to be pro-union. Personally I have never seen the word union in the Torah, Talmud or the Mishnah. Who asked them? While as Jews, we are taught conscientiousness and societal obligations, I have yet to see where the Torah tells us that I have to pay for the retirement and healthcare of someone else to the detriment of my own children and the ability to create a financially secure future for myself, my children and my country. How dare they take my thousands of years of beautiful religious thought and beliefs and use it so cavalierly to underscore THEIR politics. Who the hell do they think they are?
The problem with Reform Judaism is that they forget the fact that Judaism is about Am Yisroel (the Jewish people), Tanach Yisroel (religion). Eretz Yisroel (the land of Israel). They forget that being Jewish is not a popularity contest. They worry too much about the evil forces in the world and how to please them. Almost 70 years after the Holocaust the Reform movement forgets that when people call for genocide against you, they mean it and you didn’t cause their hatred. The hatred of Jews is the haters illness and their nadir to carry. Only the Reform Jews would blame themselves, or rather “the other kinds of Jews” for causing them to be uncomfortable about being Jewish, instead of the Jew-haters. Only the reform movement would blame Jew-hatred on “the other Jews” in Israel for wanting to survive and for demanding the right to defend their children. Only the reform movement would allow the enemies of the Jewish people to write the narrative by which they live. If not why did they elect JStreet to decide their children’s future?
In response to this post I was called hateful. Here is the post i wrote in response:
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Here is my response:
1. Hateful I think not. Just because you don’t agree with what I said does not mean it is hateful. The truth no matter how hard to hear is not hateful, it is merely the truth. Personally I think your accusation of hatefulness on my part is just another instance of “political correctness” where if you don’t agree with the leftist/liberal notion of reality or say something in the “proper” way, you are labeled a hater, racist, or islamaphobe. Is it a diatribe? Since it is my blog I can say what I want too. If I want to go on a rant and let go on how I feel then it is my prerogative. Fair? Probably not, but then again I don’t mind being challenged as with your comment. Also, the caveats are to let antisemites and the like know that they shouldn’t waste their time. After the caveat was put into place, those type of comments did stop.
2. I suppose you did not read the links I highlighted in the piece. You would have read about my issues with my Temple and Rabbi and would know where some of the feeling of not being wanted comes from. However, having been involved since a small child in national Jewish philanthropy I do know that republican Jews need not apply, not as laypersons and most definitely not as professionals.I do not know where you live, but you can rest assured that conservative and republican Jews are considered cherem by the Reform movement in our NYC area.I would like to see the republican Jews who are happily welcomed into the reform movement that you speak of. You can rest assured that those members of the RJC who just met in Las Vegas are no more welcome than I was.
3. I do not question your support of Israel, however I do question your own sense of reality. With over 75% of the Jewish community voting for Obama despite his past allegiances to Khalidi, especially Wright, never mind Ayers and his association with the hard left, it does bring into question your priorities in thinking that Israel’s survival is hardwired into your voting. Most of the Jews where I lived gave shortshrift to Israel and were more concerned about abortion than making sure that the next President of the US would support Israel. I also found ironically the misogyny against Sarah Palin among the Jewish community, which was quite frankly overwhelming.For those that are liberal at their base, the antifemale attacks against Palin and her family was revolting and not called out by anyone in the reform movement. You do not have to be pro-Palin to understand that to dehumanize her was to dehumanize all women.
4.Lastly and I think very important, is the concept that I try to teach my own children about association and reputation. JStreet contrary to its own admission is solely funded by Soros, who never met an anti-Israel organization that he did not love. The only other major donors are a strange woman in the Philippines and some anti-Israel Arabs.They continue to deny Israel their right of selfdefense. While the rest of the Jewish world castigated the blood libel in the Goldstone report JStreet wholeheartedly approved of it and sought its ratification by the US Congress. In fact JStreet has done everything it could to undermine Israel’s support in Congress and could not bring itself to even condemn the slaughter of the Fogel family without mentioning Palestinian deaths as well. As if accidental deaths, which the Palestinian family themselves blamed on Hamas, and the targeted murder of a 3 month old baby and her young siblings are equal events. Furthermore, JStreet welcomes into its panoply the likes of Code Pink and members of the BDS movement. Two organizations whose sole goal is the delegitimization and destruction of the state of Israel. Code Pink has even gone so far as to bring care packages to the terrorists killing our troops (US) in Fallujah and openly and happily support Hamas in Gaza. Tell me why would any Jew want to associate with those that call for genocide against the Jewish people? Would this rabbi belong to a group that called for the dehumanization and obliteration of an African nation? I think not. So the question is why does the Rabbi belong to a group that includes those that wish to commit genocide against the Jews? It is Beinartism at its best and a refusal to see yourself in the mirror. If the Rabbi and those in the reform movement truly want to support Israel’s right to exist they do not have to do it through an organization that refuses to accept Israel’s right to exist as a free, independent and viable Jewish State.NO one in their right mind truly believes that JStreet is anything having to do with Pro-Israel except a few remaining deluded members. UPDATE: To try to make themselves relevant in the Jewish community, JStreet has decided to redefine pro-Israel. Read here JStreet’s idea of being pro-Israel and supporting those that want to murder Jewish children (Code Pink, BDS, etc) brings to mind the inane idea that someone can still be a good person even though they are a little-bit of a Nazi. Something so inconsequential, as rabid antisemitism, can’t stand in the way of an avowed socialist agenda. Socialism/liberalism/modern 21st century progressivism, these ideologies are what is of paramount importance afterall to the likes of JStreet and its supporters.
This disagreement with JStreet is not about what kind of letterhead to use. It is whether you wish to be associated with an organization that includes rabid antisemites and supporters of the murderers of Jewish children.You are who your friends are and it is one major reason why I left my Temple as well. I did not want to be seen as supportive of my Rabbi’s politics.
5.This Rabbi may do alot of philanthropy but so do many other Rabbis. In fact other than “teacher”it is the definition of rabbi is it not? But no where did anyone mention his great scholarship (other than dance) and his teaching. I also did not see any listing or discussion of the philanthropy that he does other than JStreet. I would want to see what hands-on activity he performs. not just sitting on a board of a well known Jewish organization. That is easy and it is not more respectful than those in the Jewish community who sit in their Park Avenue offices and pontificate about how the rest of us should live and let our children carry the fight against antisemitism especially on college campuses.
The choice of this Rabbi to lead the Reform movement was no more than a cynical attempt by the Board of Rabbis to try to bring into the reform movement those that they consider unaffiliated by bringing JStreet into their midst. For some ungodly reason the Board thought that young Jews are unaffiliated because of their politics. What they might have thought about is that young Jews are unaffiliated because of the COST of belonging to a Temple, and the lack of the need since they are either unmarried or have no children. Also they might have also seen the recent polling which shows that young Jews in the US happen to be more conservative than their parents and while many are disassociated with their Judaism once they start to learn to understand their heritage JStreet is not the organization that they join.
6. I have yet to see an open ardent support of Israel since Obama has become president. in fact Frontpage Magazine, has several articles about the abject silence of the US Jewish community, i.e. the Reform movement about the Presidents seeming need to attack and delegitimize Israel. I really am not the only one who sees the cowardice of the US Jewish leadership in the wake of the virulent antisemitism that is thrown at the Jews world-wide and especially at our children on college campuses.
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