, ,

“The key to the delegitimation strategy is to so exaggerate normal faults and inescapable errors in self-defense, and to invent evils and thus define Israel as an apartheid society”

In recent decades the left that whitewashed the crimes of the Third World rulers has ‘koshered’ any policy that presents as being anti-colonialist. It has turned against Israel and sought to define it as an apartheid regime. The hope was to label it, and then bring it down through boycotts, divestments and sanctions – all the while studiously concealing that such a ‘victory’ would enable mass destruction of the Israeli Jews. They ignore the critical differences: that Israel’s Jewish population represents the return of a people to its homeland; that its Jewish land was bought and reclaimed, not seized; that that Arabs were offered a nation of their own but chose to try to destroy the Jewish state; that much of the Palestinian Nakba was self-inflicted; and that Israel is a vital functioning democracy despite living under constant siege.

The key to the delegitimation strategy is to so exaggerate normal faults and inescapable errors in self-defense, and to invent evils and thus define Israel as an apartheid society. The bald-faced lie of this claim is blatant because in Israel itself, the opposite of apartheid is true. Despite the Arab states’ unrelenting assaults from without, the internal Arab minority was granted full voting rights and all civil rights. Starting as a disadvantaged community, Israeli Arabs have steadily improved their levels of public health, education, and economic well-being – beyond any of the Arabs in neighboring states. They are still behind the Jewish curve but – like blacks in America – they have the full range of democratic mechanisms available to improve their status. Their fate is significantly in their own hands.

The left that airbrushes the evils of ‘underdogs’ or ex-colonial peoples and demonizes the Jewish state, has seized upon the West Bank situation to give the color of validity to its apartheid caricature. In so doing they ignore the fact that overwhelmingly the restrictions on the Palestinians were instituted to protect against terrorism. They omit that successive governments of Israel have offered to give 90% plus of the West Bank to a Palestinian state in return for a credible secure peace agreement. They cover up the continuing Palestinian rhetoric of revenge and genocide. They falsely equate the systematic use of terror and hatred with highly marginalized violent actions or expressions of bigotry. They treat as equivalent official Arab glorification of genocide with a minority desire for conquest on the Israeli side. This ‘neutral’ mendacity encourages Palestinian revanchist policies.

Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, “Mandela, Apartheid And The Jews”, The Jewish Week (13 December 2013), 28.

,

“Fulfillment of…demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state…is a prerequisite for genuine reconciliation, and it should enjoy full support from peace supporters across the political spectrum”

Fulfillment of this demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state — which is really about mutuality since Israel already recognized the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination — is a prerequisite for genuine reconciliation, and it should enjoy full support from peace supporters across the political spectrum.

I like to use the metaphor of two families living together in one house, representing the Jewish and Palestinian national movements occupying the small tract of land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. Yes, it is true that there will be no peace unless and until a permanent border can be drawn separating these two peoples. The border is necessary, but not sufficient. If, after a border is drawn, current and future generations are taught that members of the other family sharing the house are not there by right, have no legitimate claim, are essentially thieves, interlopers — simply there because eviction was impossible or impractical — the seeds of future conflict will continue to be sown.

Martin Raffel, “Why Recognition Of Jewish State Is Fundamental To Peace”, The Jewish Week (10 January 2014), 26.

,

“…students consider extremism in pursuit of anything a vice; a turn-off, not a turn-on”

Jewish students are largely disengaged from Israel. They are more likely to be able to distinguish between different fraternities and sororities than between the parties in the Knesset, or the panoply of Jewish communal organizations. When ideological groups take strident positions on campus, the majority of Jewish students respond with a deafening “Huh?” Campus professionals will confide that students consider extremism in pursuit of anything a vice; a turn-off, not a turn-on.

Jeff Rubin, “It’s Jewish Education, Stupid”, The Jewish Week (10 January 2014), 28.

The era of the religious Right is over. Its collapse is part of a larger decline of…

The era of the religious Right is over. Its collapse is part of a larger decline of a style of ideological conservatism that reached high points in 1980 and 1994 but suffered a series of decisive – and I believe fatal – setbacks during George W. Bush’s second term. The end of the religious Right does not signal a decline in evangelical Christianity. On the contrary, it is a sign of a new reformation among Christians – Warren and Cizik are representative figures – who are disentangling their great movement from a political machine. This will require liberals and conservatives alike to abandon their sometimes narrow views of who evangelicals are and what they believe.

E.J. Dionne Jr., Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith & Politics After the Religious Right (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2008), 4-5.

,

The Different Jewish Approaches of Obama and Booker

When Obama addresses Jewish audiences, he comes across as a liberal rabbi. He presents Jewish values as synonymous with progressive politics and draws heavily upon American Jewish history, name-dropping noted civil rights rabbinic activists like Abraham Joshua Heschel and Joachim Prinz. The American story, he seems to say, is the Jewish story—an ever-advancing universalistic ethic.

Booker, on the other hand, though committed to similarly liberal ends, presents more like his Orthodox mentors. He leans on traditional texts, from the weekly Torah portion to the Pirkei Avot, and is more likely to reference Hillel than Heschel. He keeps a stack of religious books on his desk, including an Artscroll Tanakh—the imprint of Orthodoxy’s most prolific publisher. When speaking Hebrew, his pronunciation sometimes slips into Ashkenazic, rather than the Sephardic-inflected tones of Modern Hebrew favored by non-Orthodox Jewry. And like his Chabad companions, Booker does not conflate Judaism with one particular political platform but rather plays up its spiritual uniqueness.

It would be tempting to dismiss these affectations as accidents of proximity, the incidental result of Obama and Booker being introduced to Judaism by different teachers. But they are not. They reflect deep-rooted divergences in both men’s political outlooks. …

Barack Obama has built his political career on downplaying difference. …

But where Obama conflates, Booker differentiates. He celebrates the sharp edges of identity that Obama works to soften—even when they are in tension with his own ideals. … He respects the dignity of difference, and the integrity of identity, which endears him even to those—like many in the Orthodox community—who do not share his progressive political views.

Yair Rosenberg, “New Jersey Senate Candidate Cory Booker Knows His Torah. So What?”  Tablet (12 August 2013) {http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/140767/cory-bookers-jewish-story?all=1}