Monday, March 28, 2011

A Message For The Tribe


As some of you might recall, I've been fairly critical of the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg and some of his positions on Israel, which at times seem to be almost a kissin' cousin to those of his anti-Semitic former Atlantic colleague Andrew Sullivan.

However, his site today has an interesting piece that sheds a great deal of light on something that out to be brought out into the sunlight.Entitled "Goldblog is a Pro-J Street Blog" he makes that point that while much of what J-Street does he disagrees with, he's deeply angered that the Israeli Knesset held a hearing to determine whether J-Street was a pro-Israel organization, and that Israeli PM Netanyahu found time to meet with Governor Sarah Palin ( whom Goldberg despises) but not with the minions of J-Street:

Let me be clear about something: There are many things about J Street I dislike. I think some of its members actually don't like Israel very much, and especially don't like the idea of Israel. I think many J Street supporters are cringing Diaspora Jews who are embarrassed by displays of Jewish muscularity, those displays of muscularity that are warranted as well as those displays that are unwarranted. There is much about J Street policies that I don't like; I think J Street believes that settlements are the root cause of the Middle East conflict; I believe that settlements are a moral and political catastrophe, but that one of the tragedies of the settlements is that the settlements obscure the true nature of the Middle East conflict. {...} And of course I don't like the fact that J Street found it impossible last year to tell the truth about its funding, from George Soros and other people who are frank antagonists of the Zionist idea.

But: J Street is still a Zionist organization. I believe it is fighting for Shimon Peres's vision of what Israel should be, and Yitzhak Rabin's, and more to the point, it is fighting for the vision espoused by Israel's George Washington, David Ben-Gurion.{...}

The Knesset is debating whether or not J Street is Zionist. This is a farce. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, refuses to meet with J Street. This, too, is a farce. The Prime Minister, in fact, will meet with Sarah Palin (whose politics are favored by a tiny minority of American Jews) but he will not meet with J Street. He should argue with J Street, yell at J Street, grapple with J Street, but most of all meet with J Street. Those Israelis, and those American Jews, who believe that J Street, and the spirit it represents, are fleeting phenomena have absolutely no idea what is happening in the Jewish world.


Goldberg contradicts himself, of course. On the one hand, he admits that J-Street is composed of many people who are 'anti-Zionist', dislike the idea of Israel and receive primary funding from George Soros and others who are rabidly 'anti-Zionist', but on the other hand he calls J-Street a Zionist organization and demands that these people who are committed to Israel's destruction have a seat at the table!

He also might want to consider that Governor Palin's numbers are a lot bigger than J-Street's, who have never released a list of dues paying members and count all of the 170,000 hits on their website as 'supporters'.

But all that aside, he touches on something else important. Goldberg (and a great many other Jews on the Left) seem to feel that Israel owes them a vote on how Israel defends itself, where its citizens may live and build homes, and whom it chooses to represent itself in the Knesset and the Prime Minister's office.

Thirty or forty years ago, I might have conceded the point, at least to a degree. I don't any longer.

As Goldberg alludes to at the end of his article, a great many Jews living in the Diaspora no longer support Israel either financially, emotionally or in the voting booth, and the message they give out to the Jewish State is essentially: "Please don't embarrass me with my Leftist friends."

While Americans overwhelmingly support Israel, a great deal of that support comes from conservatives and Christians, and there are a number of good reasons why that is so for reasons that have nothing to do with sentiment or religion. To be honest about the matter, while many Jews who would characterize themselves as 'liberals' still draw the line when it comes to attacking Israel, there are plenty who crossed that line a long time ago.

Having chosen a side, they have little reason to complain.

The election of Barack Obama was the first time in recent American history that someone with long time, intimate ties not only to people who are blatantly anti-Israel but actually anti-Semitic became president. And Obama was avidly supported by a majority of America's Jews.

Many of them were ignorant of his background and history, or simply didn't want to know. But enough of them weren't so that his subsequent actions as head of the most anti-Israel administration in US history should have come as no surprise.

And while I might personally consider it suicidal, they were and are certainly entitled to make that choice.

What they're not entitled to is to feel they have a right to an active voice in how Israel conducts its affairs simply by virtue of the accident of having been born Jews, something many of them try and distance themselves from whenever possible anyway.

J-Street and similar organizations were not formed and financed to promote Israel and Zionism. George Soros put them together to provide a beard, an 'alternative viewpoint' for President Obama's anti-Israel stance in order to negate any accusations of anti-Semitism.

The bird who flies over from the next tree to try to foul someone else's nest has no business feeling slighted when the birds who've chosen to live there take that amiss and try to stop him.

The one privilege Diaspora Jews do have is one given to them by the State of Israel and it's an important one...the right of refuge. Israel does not derive its legitimacy from the Holocaust, but it was formed out of the reeking miasma of its ashes and by the almost one million Jewish refugees ethnically cleansed from the Arab world. Many Diaspora Jews can never imagine a scenario when things might change so radically that the country they live in might no longer be hospitable or safe for them, but it has happened before. A strong powerful Israel is vital not only as a deterrent against such things happening in the first place, but for preserving that haven for those who might need it, something J-Street and their ilk seem to find particularly loathsome.

Ironically, if many of these 'anti-Zionist' Jews were in danger, Israel is the first place they'd look to for help and protection, the same Israel they defame on almost a daily basis.

And also, I might add, if the majority of Israelis now realize that Oslo was a huge mistake and choose to reject the Labor/Left establishment Jeffrey Goldberg remembers so fondly for blundering into it, that's frankly the Israeli's business..because they're the ones who have to pick up the pieces afterwards.Jews building homes in Judea and Samaria didn't start the Arab-Israeli conflict, and making another piece of the Middle East Jew-free isn't going to stop it.

Bottom line, you can't demonize a country and do everything you can to delegitimize it and then expect to be welcomed with open arms as family. And to Israel's credit, they are beginning to end the pretense of trying to do so. The parable of the Wicked Son Jews the world over recite every Passover is particularly apt here.

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

-selah-

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6 comments:

louielouie said...

you may call it a contradiction is you wish. i couldn't understand wth he was talking about in that last paragraph. he doesn't make any sense.
although i will agree with him about the numbers regarding sarah palin.
he is careful to state "american joos". and it is a tiny minority. (-5%)

Freedom Fighter said...

Goldberg no like-ee that Netanyahu met with Palin and not not with Jeremy Ben-Ami from J-Street.

As for the numbers, no one knows how many 'supporters' J-Street has. But We know Sarah Palin has a lot of Israel supporters in her corner, regardless of whether they're Jews or not.

TLOS said...

J Street should be persona non grata in Israel, just like the ISM and other anti-Israel groups.

louielouie said...

oh.
my bad.
as this was an essay regarding the tribe i failed to acknowledge "gentile posting".
my bad.

Anonymous said...

I joined the chorus at my blog as well. Proud to say my blog is an anti-JStreet blog. Agree with you completely. http://libertysspirit.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

@Louie
The post may addressed to "The Tribe", but the reference to Sarah Palin's support was clearly describing her overall level of support compared to J-Street.

Since Sarah Palin has nearly 17 times as many 'Facebook Friends' as J-Street claims supporters, its a fair observation.