Sunday, April 12, 2009

Assimilated Jews and the Plague of Darkness

In Egypt, 80% of the Jews did not leave but perished in the Plague of Darkness. These Jews simply could not separate themselves from the the gentile culture of Egypt and were not ready for the Redemption. It seems like a similar number of the assimilated Jews of the United States feel the same way.

Douglas Bloomfield, from YNetNews, warns of how Israel's new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman, may alienate American Jews.

Lieberman, who was Netanyahu's chief of staff during the latter's first term as prime minister, said concessions to the Arabs "just invite pressure, and more and more wars. If you want peace, prepare for war." With declarations like that and his reputation as a racist who wants to drive out Israel's Arab citizens, Lieberman may be the best thing that has happened to pro-Arab lobbying in Washington since Yasser Arafat died.

But for the Jews he's bad news.

A recent survey for J Street, the Jewish "pro-peace, pro-Israel" lobby, conducted by Jim Gerstein, a Democratic strategist, showed Obama is "considerably more popular" among American Jews than Netanyahu by a 73-58 margin, and Lieberman's views are "resoundingly rejected by American Jews." The cornerstone of pro-Israel lobbying for more than 60 years has been Israel's yearning for peace in the face of Arab threats to destroy it. Israel, we've been taught and have taught others, is willing to take great risks, endure major sacrifices and accept painful compromises while the other side has insisted on its unrealistic and uncompromising demands.

Israel has ridden that image, despite occasional ups and downs, to a position of great strength in America and especially on Capitol Hill.

After Lieberman's declarations and Netanyahu's so-far lack of a convincing commitment to peace, Israel risks being branded an obstacle to peace.

There is a hard-core element in the Jewish community that will support Israel do or die, but the J Street data shows that fewer and fewer under 30 will, said Gerstein.

Their grandparents forged their ties with Israel during the vulnerable years of its birth and struggle for survival; their parents are of the post-1967 generation that grew up knowing the muscular Israel anxious to make peace. The 21st-century Jews see a different Israel, said a prominent pro-Israel lobbyist. "They see oppression, excess use of force and arrogance," he said. For many of them it is no longer the center of their Jewish identity.

Basically, liberal Jews are more comfortable with Israel carving itself up, uprooting Jewish communities, expelling hundreds of thousands of Jews and of millions of Israelis cowering in bomb shelters, all for the sake of "peace", rather than a strong Israel.

Following the recent war in Gaza, amidst false reports of Israeli "war crimes" and IDF atrocities, many liberal Jews felt torn between support of Israel and pictures of poor crying Arab women. These liberal supporters of Israel felt the need to somehow justify Israel's right to defend herself and of its citizens not to be blown to smithereens by Hamas Kassam rockets. And now that Israel has elected a new government that at least seems less interested in misguided "peace" processes, these Jews are squirming in their seats.

It is shocking that 60 years after Israel's re-establishment, liberal Jewry can be so fickle as to shift their support based on the policies of Israel's government. Most American Jews detested Bush yet few condemned America's right to exist or opposed the US war on terror. American Jews need not question Israel's legitimacy or be embarrassed by Israel. Whether the government is left or right, patriotism and nationalism is something that must run deeper.

Lieberman is absolutely correct in rejecting naive notions of "land for peace". Such an idea is absurd. If the Arabs want peace, then they can put down their arms and get peace. Israel has offered far too much land at too high a cost, for nothing. "Peace" is not worth the demise of the Jewish state. Carving up Jerusalem and making Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights judenrein, effecting marching back into exile, is not a price we are willing to pay to receive world approval. Of course, it is ludicrous that the victor of a defensive war should give land to an enemy which attacked it, and it defeated, 6 or 7 times in various wars. If anything, the Arabs should be offering Israel land!

A few years ago, a study showed that for many American Jews, the Holocaust, and not the State of Israel, played the central role in their Jewish identity. It is a sad testimony to the contemporary state of American Jewry when they feel most connected to the brutal and horrendous victimization and destruction of European Jewry as opposed to the living and vibrant reborn Jewish state. It shows a tendency to prefer to be the victims than to stand up for oneself, to be passive rather than assertive and to be the one being killed as opposed to doing the killing. In short, many liberal Jews identify more with Tevye the milkman from Czarist Russia, or Anne Frank, than with the Entebbe Mission or the triumphs of the Six Day War. Only among Jews can this pathological self-deprecation be found.

It is not wonder than American Jewry is in a speedy decline, sliding into obscurity with an over 50% assimilation and intermarriage rate. Within a generation or so, Jews in the United States will not even be an identifiable group, as intermarriage will have caused non-committed Jews to become extinct. With such an abysmal ignorance of Judaism and a lack of Jewish pride, these sad trends should not surprise anyone. I say to American Jews to please hitch yourself to the nearest synagogue or study hall and to learn Judaism, real Judaism, and to grow a little Jewish pride. Stop apologizing for Israel protecting itself and its citizens. We don't want another Yad VaShem or an international Holocaust Memorial Day. Israel doesn't have to grovel before the Arabs and endanger itself for "peace" to win your love or anybody else's. The Jewish future will be in Israel while those who are unable to see this may end up, G-d forbid, with the same fate as the 80% of Jews who did not leave Egypt.

Chag Sameach!


HSG said...

Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

Moadim le'sason! Thx for inviting me to your blog, BK. I'll be posting shortly.

I asked the question: "Who's better in the eyes of G-d: secular, anti-Israel Jews or righteous Gentiles?" from my host during one of the sdarim. I'm sure you know the answer. Keep that in mind when posting on this subject.

Anonymous said...

according to torah scholars i've consulted in eretz yisrael, the geulah shalema, the final redemption will include all of these yids. it is not the same percentage as mitzrayim. our job is to try to unify all the jewish people in service of H'. the hassidic masters were not joking when they spoke of the necessity and greatness of ahavat yisrael. as well, there is a midrash that says after the second temple churban one of the great tanas said that our deeds of chesed and our ahavas yisrael would now substitute for the korbanot.

therefore, it is not a service to am yisrael to make 'us-them' distinctions... esp when it is so easy and tempting to do so with so many wacky lefty jews in america (and israel too)...

we have to do our own work and reah out to them as best we can.

"no jewish soul left behind"

this is the emes.

Anonymous said...

"Wacky" describes them well but not well enough. I'd say "self-defeating." I wouldn't say "self-hating" because they love themselves alright.

They are like the evil son who separates himself from klal Yisrael. He asks about himself and not "their leaving Egypt."

Q: Should we disassociate ourselves from that part of our people which has clearly been led astray by pagan culture or should we try and enlighten the "unenlightenable"?

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