We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Peter Beinhart’s essay in the leftwards, critical of Israel New York Review of Books, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment”,is garnering praise from the usual quarters for asserting based on a seven-year old focus group that younger American Jews are not as committed to, even conscious of, Israel as their elders.Beinhart: “One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to foster—indeed, have actively opposed—a Zionism that challenges Israel’s behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens.”The mission: “Saving liberal Zionism in the United States—so that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israel—is the great American Jewish challenge of our age.”Beinhart’s “liberal Zionism” is difficult to distinguish from that of ultra-left Jews who bash Israel or demur to the bashers and apologize for Obama’s dangerous domestic and foreign inanities.
In effect, Beinhart is saying that he wants to export American liberal illusions to Israel, which would increase the support for Israel among liberal Americans, Jewish or other.Beinhart’s cure for the failure of American liberals’ illusions is to enlarge the illusion by blaming its failures on those who live in the real world for not embracing it.
There’s another approach to criticizing much of the American Jewish leadership.They forget when liberalism entailed recognizing the difference between friend and foe, and cling to liberalism’s current inability to be willing to deal with unaffordable largesse and unpersuadable enemies. Most are in schizo crisis between their attachment to the Democrat Party and their own access to the halls of power versus their recognition that it has become an undependable ally of Israel.
Israel is successful, exists, because – aside from a vocal but tiny minority clustered behind Ivory towers – it prospers due to the breakout of entrepreneurs from past socialist dominance over the economy and it endures due to being willing to fight when necessary.
Beinhart is simplistically blind to his and fellows’ priority in being part of the liberal herd, regardless the consequences.Following the Beinharts of American liberalism is to leap with the lemmings.
Whoa. Exactly the same problem as I just noted in Barrister's post above. This "liberal Zionism" works on paper, so it must be the theory that is right and reality that is wrong. If we just change reality, we'll be fine.
Anyone noticing a pattern here?
Assistant Village Idiot
Ask most Americans of Jewish descent what Judaism means to them, and you get a liberal/left-wing catechism - often these folks are the only one-world socialists around, still hoping (like my great grandfather the Bundist) that socialism will solve The Jewish Question - basically by dissolving the notion of peoplehood, or at least Jewish peoplehood.
(Even more crazy were the socialist Zionists who wrapped this assimilationist dream in the mantle of 19th-century nationalism - creating a movement of Jewish national revival stripped of any uniquely Jewish content. The unraveling of that inherent contradiction is how the children of the heroes that founded Israel bought into the myths of Oslo: cut off from their Jewish roots, they readily accepted the lie that others are more "authentic" citizens of this land, and accepted the label of "colonial oppressor" despite recent Jewish history.)
Where previous generations still knew enough about Judaism to attempt to tie the "social justice" cover story to received Jewish teaching, the current crop don't know enough - or care enough - to even try. Being Jewish is important only as a useful label in the liberal game of victimology politics.
For this kind of "Jew" - the existence and success of Israel are not useful, and threaten the "progressive" Utopian dream (to quote the Prophet John: "imagine there's no countries... and no religion too")
Ultimately there is no unique support by Jews for the state of Israel without some allegiance to Judaism, the religion - which is the only justification for the continued existence of the Jews as a separate nation.