I have UPDATED the following post from 2011 in response to the rekindled “as a Jew” meme. Somehow, without fail, whenever some politico or pundit (in this case Obama/Kerry) decides Israel alone has to put her children’s lives at risk for peace, these “as a Jew” court-Jews seem to come out of the woodwork.
“J’Accuse” The Ultimate Anti-Semite
There are many definitions of antisemite. Just who are these people who denigrate anything Jewish. They use Nazi-like imagery to denounce Jewish society and Israel. They use false allusions to try to destroy the right of the Jewish nation to exist and the Jewish people to live free in their ancestral homeland. They extend their reach into the secular world and deny Jews the right to practice Judaism, be it circumcision, kosher slaughter or the right to wear religious garb for fear of being attacked. They take from the Jewish citizen the right to be counted among the nations of the world and be counted as a human being. Whether it takes its form as those that deny the holocaust, deny Jewish history and attachment to Eretz Yisroel or the senseless need to dehumanize, delegitimize and equate the Jewish people with their persecutors, this is antisemitism. The anti-Semite teaches their children that Jews are descended from apes and pigs. This is all part and parcel of modern antisemitism. It is also an accepted part of society and welcomed worldover. Sadly antisemitism is more open and accepted today as anytime since the advent of Nazi Germany.
Whether it comes from respected journalists, politicians, “peace activists,” Nobel prize winners or religious leaders, it is a daily barrage of hate aimed at anyone Jewish. Yet the ultimate anti-Semite is not the gentile that spouts the hatred and bile that has become commonplace once again in the world. The ultimate anti-Semite is the Jew who joins with the persecutors and tries to use the fact that they emerged into this world from a Jewish womb, as a right to destroy their own people. You can’t call them anti-Semite after all they are Jews, they shout…but they are Jews without a shred of attachment to the Jewish people, to history or to reality.
There is a wonderful book written years ago by the well-known author Erica Jong, called Serenissima. It was a masterful look at the Merchant of Venice through different eyes. In that book the author discusses the character of Jessica. Jessica is the daughter of Shylock. She betrays her father, her people and her heritage to win the love and approval of a man and his friends who will never accept her as an equal because no matter what she does in life, she was born a Jew. Erica Jong, wrote that in the end, it was not the courts, nor the Christian community that were the ultimate anti-Semite in the story, but that it was Jessica herself. Denigrating everything that she was born to be to win the approval of those that would never accept her because in the end, no matter what she did they would always think of her first and foremost as a Jew. Unfortunately there are many Jessicas today, both female and male in positions of power, influence and education.
In fact today’s ultimate antisemite can even claim to be religious Jews. Some are religious like the Naturei Karta, or Satmars, who are Hasidim, but I am not sure how helping kill your fellow Jews follows the Torah or the Talmud. However, at least it appears that the vast majority of these ultimate anti-Semite Jews, never enter a synagogue, are not married to a fellow Jew or have Jewish children or grandchildren. But what they do is to try to denigrate the Jewish religion, history, and attachments while trying to change it to suit their needs. That is not reality. Religion, its symbols, its history, its essence, has meaning. All aspects of religion have purpose. All aspects of history is reality and has created who we are today. To try to change the religion to make it meet your criteria for reality is hubris, narcissism and above all disrespect. To promote revisionist history to serve your politics of hate is evil. It is the act of the ultimate anti-Semite to change what God has put forth. It is the act of the ultimate anti-Semite to rewrite Jewish history to blame anti-Semitism on the Jews. It is the act of the ultimate anti-Semite to think that they know better than God. You either accept the religion or you don’t. Ultimately, it is the act of the ultimate anti-Semite to rewrite Jewish history and suffering to promote their hate filled politics.
Some claim that they are holocaust survivors themselves, as if that gives them a special license to betray the Jewish people and side with those that support another holocaust. Why does society imbue with survivors some kind of moral halo. There are many who survive trauma, but they are no better or more moral than anyone else. Sorry, but holocaust survivors are people just like everyone else, there are good and bad among them. Those that are moral and those that are amoral. There are those that are liars and those that are honest. There are those that try to make the world a better place by bringing truth and justice to all peoples, including that the world never again slaughter Jews.Then there are the so-called survivors who join with Jew-haters to bring about more death to their fellow Jews. But the fact that they are holocaust survivors does not keep them from criticism, but the ultimate anti-Semites thinks it does. That is why there is always the requisite holocaust survivor among the Jew-haters. Cover they think for their vapid immorality.
In truth it is the anti-Semite who needs these ultimate anti-Semitic Jews for cover. To make themselves believe their hyperbole that they are not Jew haters but freedom fighters. That they are the moral and better human beings. That they are the righteous among us. The problem is that we, the members of the Jewish people, allow it to happen. We get all defensive when some inane individual, who has no bearing upon our world, says, “As a Jew….” Well to say “as a Jew,” you at first have to care about the survival of the Jewish people, the religion of Israel and the Jewish State. These ultimate anti-Semites care about none of this…what they ultimately care about is only themselves.
But those of us who love our heritage, our people and our freedom can say the same thing. We can say to the world, “As a Jew,” my voice is important on matters effecting the Jewish people. “As a Jew,” I do not have to apologize for being a Jew. “As a Jew,” I do not need the world’s approval for my existence. “As a Jew,” my word and beliefs about my people are what matters, not anyone else’s. “As a Jew…” I defend Israel, the United States, true freedom, and truth and justice. “As a Jew,” I defend my right to live in my ancestral homeland in a Jewish state and use any means at my disposal to protect myself and my children and my home. “As a Jew,” I have the right to demand that the world recognize my humanity and that I am part and parcel of humankind. “As a Jew,” I demand that I have a right to call out the anti-Semites for being anti-Semites including and especially those who demonize and wish to destroy Israel, whether they be Moslem, Christian, atheist, Buddhist or another Jew. “As A Jew,” I demand the right to be heard and not to have to give credence nor respect to those who have abandoned our people and help those that wish to murder our children. “As a Jew,” I say there are not always two sides to every story. “As a Jew,” I say, Jewish history is Jewish history, you cannot accept it, then “as a Jew,” I call you an anti-Semite. “As a Jew,” I demand that my history be respected and honored and not denigrated by those who celebrate the slaughter of Jewish children.
So “As a Jew,” I say that the ultimate anti-Semites are those Jews who betray their people and try to use their Jewish heritage as an end run around their own self-hatred and self-degradation. If their actions would be seen as anti-Semitic if they were not Jews, then their actions are anti-Semitic as Jews. They do not get anymore of a pass because they are from the People of Israel. In fact, what it does is make their betrayal even more apparent and their lives even more devoid of heaven.
The American statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, [people] “are entitled to their opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts” [even if they think they can make it up as they go along]. It doesn’t matter whether the opinion is based on facts or reality, but it is their opinion. Do opinions annoy, hurt, cause consternation? Of course. That is the actual point of an opinion. To decide what is important to a person and to hold fast to that belief. And belief happens to be the watchword. Belief does not have to be supported by fact. Otherwise there really would be no religion in this world. Miracles, prophets, God and the like are all manifestations of the human mind trying to make sense of the universe. Those that still hold to religious beliefs do so out of conviction and sheer faith.
But what happens when that faith or political persuasion conflicts with society? What do we do then? Do we whine, stomp our feet or tantrum? Well some of us do. The problem that we have is not that people are entitled to their beliefs. The problem is when these beliefs conflict with society’s purpose. But what is that purpose? What are those beliefs? First understanding where society stands is important to understanding where society is going. Ultimately the question is where is that line to be drawn?
Hillel, is a pro-Israel Jewish college campus group. (Some might say that Hillel has generally forgotten their raison d’etre, but that is an issue for another day.) Their purpose is to not only promote Judaism among Jewish college students, to provide a haven for Jewish collegiates in a college atmosphere, but to support the right of the Jewish people to exist in their ancient homeland. Hence Hillel is a Zionist organization. Now, which form of Zionism, secular, religious, socialist, free-market, it doesn’t really matter, but it is a belief that the Jewish people, as all people on the face of the Earth, have a right of self-determination. That’s it in a nutshell.
The Swarthmore Hillel, nevertheless decided to allow anti-Zionists into the mix of organizations that are allowed access to their campus domain.The national organization said…”not so fast…no, no,no you can’t do that.” In response these Swarthmorian students wrote how they were generally butt-hurt by the rejection and resented that their grand design of the meaning of being a good-Jewish organization was rejected. There was so much whining involved that you expected some Swarthmorian to threaten to hold their breath until they turned blue in order to try to get what they wanted. (You can read their tempter tantrum along with their convoluted misappropriation of Rabbi Hillel in The Forward [of course] if you are so inclined.)
Not certain when the notion of freedom of speech became downgraded. What is it about the younger generation that they think simply because they can say what they think that everyone has to agree with them or that disagreement with their point of view is a violation of their 1st amendment rights? Didn’t anyone ever teach them that there is no right to not be offended in the Constitution and that simply because you have an opinion doesn’t mean people need to respect what you say or let you into their “big tent?”
What is it about the young that they think its acceptable to include amongst themselves people who want to burn their house down with all the inhabitants inside? Why would any thinking person, someone who has a modicum of sense allow these individuals to have sway over thought, practice and the future? This latest collegiate induced bratscapade is not about youthful enthusiasm. This is about youthful self-delusion and delusional self-importance. Honestly these children were awarded too many statues for simply showing up in life without actually having had to accomplish anything.
Read Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s response to those that would incorporate Israel-haters into Hillel. HERE
On point as the latest example of adults trying to use the “as a Jew” meme to vilify and destroy the State of Israel, is the bigoted group of Israel-boycotters from the American Studies Association. Since they have a few Jews who belong and even cite a Jewish 9/11 truther for evidence (see articles at the end of this paragraph), they reject the idea that they are antisemitic or Jew-haters. It’s actually sad to see what passes for teachers in today’s post-secondary educational sphere. In fact, if these individuals are the persons who have been teaching those immolating Hillel students, it is not a wonder that these college students are not only misguided but believe in convoluted theories of rights, wrongs and identification. For a continued discussion on the subject of this academic boycott of Israel read HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE
There is an updated list by Avi Mayer from the Jewish Agency, of US colleges and universities that have rejected the boycott. Click on the links in Mayer’s post to read how these true academics chastise this group of “teachers” for their outright Orwellian philosophies concerning academic freedom, their duplicitous, obnoxious and dubious choice of Israel and their outright ignorance on matters concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. HERE
This article is an interesting look at how Peter Beinart went from simply being a self-important delusional narcissist to the favorite “as a Jew” Jew of the anti-Semitically, anti-Israel crowd. When you tap into antisemites to blog about Israel, as Beinart did at Open Zion, you are basically telling the world that you are ready, willing and able to promote any form of garbage masquerading as thoughtful-historical-analysis. Honestly after the public drubbing Beinart took, since no real pro-Israel organization respected anything he wrote or said, he had to devolve somewhere to feed his ego didn’t he? Where else did he have to go but down the rabbit-hole to become the latest Jew-hater-shelter-poseur?
So along comes Clinton sycophant, AnneMarie Slaughter, now of the New America Foundation, to host what the Simon Wiesenthal center calls one of the most antisemitic individuals of 2013. Remember this is the same AnneMarie Slaughter of the whiny “it’s not fair that I have to succeed at a job like a man when I have children” former State Department official fame, giving succor and support to another Clinton sycophant’s (Sidney Blumenthal) talentless son. And who better could Slaughter ask for “Jewish cover” for promoting antisemitism than the emotionally ego-needy, hacktastic and duplicitous “as a Jew” Beinart.
Read “Return of the Jewish Native,” by Stephen Pollard. I would make one comment. Mr. Pollard ends by asking these “as a Jew” Jews, when was the last time they were in shul? In all honesty as a secular Zionist, “as a non-religious Jew,” I can’t remember the last time I walked into a synagogue or Temple. I’m afraid there has to be another barometer to define these Jew-hating-Jews.