American liberal Jewish leaders fuel antisemitism

By Isi LiebLer,

We try to rationalize that the anti-Zionist behavior of individual Jews does not justify anti-Semitic bigotry.

However, the crass political exploitation of their Jewish identity by American leaders of purportedly “nonpartisan” mainstream Jewish organizations is unprecedented. Today, in what must be described as self-destruction, a substantial number of irresponsible leaders of the most successful and powerful Jewish diaspora community seem to have gone berserk and are fueling anti-Semitism.

Nobody suggests that Jews should not be entitled, like all American citizens, to engage in political activity of their choice. As individuals, they may support or bitterly criticize their newly elected president, but as leaders of mainstream religious and communal organizations, they are obliged, as in the past, to assiduously avoid being perceived as promoting partisan political positions.

What has taken place in leading mainstream American Jewish organizations during and since the elections can only be described as a self-induced collective breakdown. What might have been regarded as a temporary aberration has in fact intensified in recent weeks.

Let us set aside the fact that many of these liberal Jewish organizations have also distanced themselves from or even abandoned Israel. They have done so even though the Trump administration has the potential of restoring the U.S.-Israel alliance that then-President Barack Obama undermined in a vain effort to appease Muslims. It is also clear that, for many assimilated liberal Jews, Israel is no longer a priority, especially now that President Donald Trump has signaled his intentions to renew the alliance.

The facts are that liberal Jewish leaders have declared a hysterical war against the Trump administration. Led initially by the Anti-Defamation League but rapidly joined by the Reform and Conservative wings of the Jewish community, many Jewish community leaders have exploited their positions to endorse a vicious campaign in which Trump is portrayed as a satanic anti-Semite promoting fascism and racism, representing the antithesis of Jewish values. This, despite the reality that his presidency highlights an unprecedented acceptance of Jews at the highest levels of government.

Headed by CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama staffer, the ADL initiated its campaign during the elections by effectively echoing the far-left J Street. It accused Trump of tolerating and encouraging anti-Semitism and white supremacy and engaging in Islamophobia. Greenblatt went so far as to proudly announce that if immigration restrictions weighed against Muslims, he would proclaim himself a Muslim and called on Jews to do likewise.

At the same time, some progressive rabbis, usually without a mandate from their constituency, organized fasts and days of mourning in their synagogues and, donning prayer shawls and kippot, they paraded at the forefront of anti-Trump demonstrations that vulgarly undermined the presidency, emphasizing that their political stance was a product of their religious Jewish values.

Furthermore, they supported and participated in demonstrations led and hijacked by vicious anti-Israel Muslim activists such as Linda Sarsour and even convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh. In a similar vein, the ADL continues to promote Black Lives Matter despite its hatred of Israel and support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The constant false accusations of anti-Semitism were highlighted by the biased liberal media emboldening right-wing degenerates who were provided with enormous exposure. This created a perception of a sudden rise in radical right anti-Semitism.

There has been a huge flurry of anti-Semitic outbursts in social media. Jewish organizations have been plagued with bomb threats and several cemeteries were desecrated.

The media highlighted these developments and many Jews panicked, in the belief that this was evidence of a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism, and accepted the false allegation that this was a Trump factor. Last week, Greenblatt went so far as to make the preposterous statement that Trump had “emboldened” anti-Semites and encouraged acts of terror in his own country.

Fortunately, to date, not a single Jew has been harmed. It only takes a few fanatical scoundrels to ignite a flow of anti-Semitic tweets and social media activity. It only takes a handful to telephone bomb threats to Jewish organizations. The campaign to blame Trump and accuse him of indifference to anti-Jewish agitation is simply nonsensical.

It is also noteworthy that the first person arrested for having made numerous bomb threats was no alt-right extremist but an African-American notorious for his tweets against “white people” and the “white media.”

Alas, the reality is that in promoting their personal political agenda and vulgarizing and demonizing Trump while posing as Jews motivated by religious principles, they are hypocritically exploiting their leadership positions and fueling anti-Semitism.

This becomes even more stark in contrast to the eight years of Obama’s administration, during which not a single condemnation was uttered against the outrageously biased statements in relation to Israel. Obama’s repeated statements attributing moral equivalence to Israeli defenders and Palestinian terrorists, his accusations of disproportionate Israeli response to terrorism, and his refusal to condemn the Iranians as they repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the map, were all ignored. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was treated despicably in Washington while Obama was groveling to the Iranian terrorists.

There is no distinction between anti-Semitism of the Right and Left and the forces of bigotry that are mushrooming globally, including within the U.S., albeit the most tolerant nation in the world in relation to Jews.

The reality is that today, the prime global anti-Semitic threat emanates not from neo-Nazis but from the witches’ brew of far-left and Muslim anti-Jewish incitement, which has transformed many American university campuses into hotbeds of anti-Semitism. Jewish students are being intimidated and pro-Israel speakers denied the opportunity of making their case. This has deteriorated over recent years and today represents the central source of anti-Semitic agitation in the U.S. Where are the shrill voices against this manifestation of anti-Semitism from those that blame Trump for anti-Semitic threats? Greenblatt went as far as to oppose the legislation against BDS, insisting that some of its promoters still loved Israel and should not be condemned.

A large proportion of Trump supporters are Christian evangelicals whose passionate support for Israel more than compensates for liberal Jews who are more concerned about Muslims, a substantial proportion of whom hate and would kill Jews, endorse jihadism and support the destruction of the Jewish state. Obviously, witnessing Jews purporting to be upholding Jewish values by engaging directly in the demonization of their president must outrage them.

It is surely time now for responsible Jewish leaders to intervene and condemn this distortion of Judaism, making it clear that these liberal officials and rabbis have no mandate to speak on behalf of the Jewish community and are simply promoting their personal political agendas.

The Zionist Organization of America and some Orthodox Jewish groups are trying to dispel the perception that these attacks on Trump are officially Jewish-sponsored. To his credit, Abe Foxman, himself a liberal, who headed the ADL for three decades prior to Greenblatt, urged Jewish leaders to “cool it” emphasizing that “Trump is not an anti-Semite.” He warned that the issue “has been hijacked politically by Democrats who’ve made it a political issue to attack Trump,” though he also noted that “Republicans made it a political issue to defend him.” His conclusion: “The whole issue has become a political football and that doesn’t serve us.”

It is sad and ironic that the decline of the most affluent and successful community will have been engineered by some of its leaders who, in their fanatical liberal zeal, exploited their Judaism and Jewish affiliations to advance a partisan political agenda. Unless this tide of official Jewish anti-Trump demonization is reversed or halted, there will be major long-term negative ramifications on the standing and influence of the American Jewish community.

March 16, 2017 | 19 Comments »

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19 Comments / 19 Comments

  1. Sebastien Zorn Said:

    “That’s why the free part of your education won’t get you a good job anymore. Even one college degree is usually not enough. Prospective employers aren’t stupid. They know how much learning and effort that piece of paper represents.”

    Reminds me of a joke I made up about that a while back:

    The increasingly high tech nature of the economy, the dumming down of education and the fact that not everybody has a head for computers and internet social networking have paradoxically come together to create a kind of underground labor shortage which has filtered down even into the criminal underworld.

    Prospective head hunters and employers of promising trainees in the criminal arts are once again forced to resort to more traditional methods of advertising job opportunities such as posting fliers.

    In fact, I saw one on the front door of my building a while back.

    It said, “Wanted for Robbery.”

    Good help is so hard to find!

  2. @ Abolish_public_education:
    True Nuff. It’s a necessary but insufficient condition for many folks. But, the people you are referring to, I’ve known of a few myself, including me own fadder, and his before him, are GENIUSES. It’s neither fair nor realistic to expect that of everyone or even of most. Such expectations only appear democratic on the surface. Actually, they’re tyrannical and a recipe for failure.

    Also, writers can prove themselves through examples of their work. Young people with no training, job experience, or academics (which show you can learn and be self-disciplined) are at a disadvantage in the competitive labor marketplace in most fields. Also, you can’t know if you have a specific talent unless you try it and they have to give you a chance.

    You’re right about the dumming down. That’s why the free part of your education won’t get you a good job anymore. Even one college degree is usually not enough. Prospective employers aren’t stupid. They know how much learning and effort that piece of paper represents. Grade inflation buys less in the everyday labor marketplace same as with currency. Not leaving anyone behind leaves everyone behind. Better to let stragglers drown and then give them as many second chances to get back in the game as they need. Took me four tries over 20 years. But, I made it. With honors.

    That’s why colleges, graduate and professional schools love classically trained musicians. They’re disciplined, self-motivated, and they know how to learn whatever is put in front of them. I might add that while there are classically trained musicians in every genre of popular music, the reverse is less common, even though Jazz now has it’s own advanced music theory and performance training, because classical music trains one to be able to play any kind of music. City College of NY now has a classical Degree for DJs without the performance. But, you learn all the academics so you can understand and assist musicians.
    Serves the same function as SAT’s, GRE’s, LSATs. There are more A students than slots. They don’t want to invest in the potential dropouts.

    Educators who prate on about relevance in course materials are missing the point. It’s not what you learn that matters — fashions in knowledge, even science, change all the time — it’s that you know how to teach yourself, organize and structure your time and resources, and think rationally.

  3. Hmm. This website just swallowed my response.

    As I was saying, I know folks who lack much formal education who do very well for themselves (including a writer of professional articles), and folks who have four-year degrees, student-loan debt, and can only find unskilled jobs (nothing against such work).

  4. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Some of the competent, successful individuals I’m thinking of lack large amounts of formal education, one of whom earns a nice living as a writER of professional articles.

    I’ve also met any number of college graduates who are in heavy student-loan debt and unable to find anything beyond unskilled work (not that there’s anything wrong with such employment).

    But you go on believing that “everybody needs to go to college” baloney, if it makes you feel good.

  5. @ Abolish_public_education:
    According to the U.S. Census, high school diploma holders were 24 percent in 1940 and 80 percent in 2000. I presume, GED holders would be an additional number since this table specifies diploma.

    I wanted to know about employment and income statistics for Americans without H.S. diplomas but that seems to be hard to find since almost all Americans have one, presumably thanks to public education.

    ‘Course it’s still not too late to reverse things. Un-restrained immigration has made some progress in that direction, I understand Polio is coming back. That’s Progress for ya’; “Progress” as in “Progressive.”

    from the proverbial Progressive horse’s orifice:



    OK, here, I inadvertently did some of your homework for you (just saying you know people is anecdotal and not necessarily representative.) But, you have a point. All you have to do to make it without a h.s. diploma is to become Robert Deniro or Catherine Zeta-Jones.

    “Multimillionaires Without High School Diplomas –
    A good mind is a terrible thing to waste–on high school, perhaps.” December 2010.

    And unemployment in the inner city can be solved by encouraging kids to become Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, or Snoop Dogg.

    Good plan.

    My plan is to become Mozart. Or maybe Beethoven. I’m undecided.

  6. Isi Liebler very accurately describes the tragedy of American Jewry, the tragedy being Jews are doing this to so many Jews. Being shunned by your rabbi, your doctors, etc for believing Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish State, and Donald Trump is the legitimate POTUS.

    Would be good to know where this was originally published.

  7. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    You’re absolutely *wrong* about the hiring preferences of entrepreneurs.

    I am personally familiar with several business owners, and workers, who hire/work precisely according to what I’ve stated (in contradiction to your view).

  8. $40,000 was the public universities. Private was $60 to 80K. Yearly. No entepreneur will hire somebody without at least a BA even for admin assistant. Grads of top schools make more.

    Public funding began about 100 years ago. Before that 4th grade education was the norm. Now you need computer skills to work in a factory or ring up a sale.

    Trade school same as public.

    Only students from rich families who can afford the tuition and don’t have to worry about the future, major in basket weaving. Music or gen. liberal arts is good for medical or law school background. They prefer that. There are probably a lot more rich anti-Israel leftists than poor on campuses. Poor students are too busy trying hard, studying.

    If they pissed it away, their families would never let them live it down.

    Trump had the working class except for certain unions.

    I asked a Manhattan School of Music graduate student how come I never see any undergraduates anywhere. She said, “oh, the undergraduates never leave the dorm.”! (The dorm is connected to the school and has practice rooms.)

  9. @ Sebastien Zorn

    (1) If a rich guy kid lets his kid burn $40K+ per year on basketweaving studies, partying, football, etc, that’s fine with me.

    (2) Literacy rates, in the USA, were *higher* before the nation adopted the monstrosity known today as government-funded education. In other words, the Government is (I think deliberately) dumding-down the kids.

    (3) The US economy is not just its glamorous high-tech sector. Besides, entrepreneurs hire talent, not paper.

  10. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Estimated Yearly TUITION AND EXPENSES
    Columbia University $71,690

    NYU $68,400

    Fordham University
    Tuition alone without financial aid: $47,317. With room and board plus other expenses: $63,000.00

    Manhattan School of Music $70,644

    Juilliard School $63,950

    CUNY $6,330 per year not including books or living expenses.

    SUNY – State University of NY – also public – just tuition $6,470 per year, living off campus. ON Campus: about $35,000 per year for all expenses.

    Though the talented and motivated poor don’t have to worry if they are in the top tier and especially if they are minorities. There are universities like Harvard and I think Yale and Princeton, that pay your way if you qualify and are so poor you have to borrow.

    Curtis School of Music and Cooper Union were always full scholarship only.

    City College of NY has a Freshman Honors College for those who qualify. Full scholarship.
    Actually City College from 1837 and all of City U of NY of which it is a part from its founding in the 1840’s was free until the 1960’s or ’70s when Governor Nelson Rockefeller imposed tuition for the first time. Not sure how it was paid for. I do think education and health care are universal rights like police and fire (imagine if you tried to report a crime or fire but were told that your insurance didn’t cover it. Actually, Obama lied when he said that was the situation with medical emergencies; emergency rooms have to take you though lots of people substituting over-priced emergency room care for standard medical care — which many will default on — increases costs and public risks.) but I am not doctrinaire about how it should be paid for, government, private, charitable, annoying advertisements, Public service annnouncements by publicity-seeking celebrities, “this stretch of highway was paid for by Cher.” Whatever. “Just so long as it doesn’t frighten the horses” as me sainted father was wont to remark.

    That’s college. You can’t actually get much of a job with only a high school diploma, in any case.

    Or even just a B.A. unless you’re a fast talker.

    Unless you go to technical school and become a plumber or carpenter, say.

    Apex Technical School: Tuition and fees: $18,200.

    average annual cost of private high school is $13,030.

    “The Devil is in the details,” as they say.

  11. @ amnonmuss:
    There’s poor and there’s poor. If you are poor in NY, it’s all you can do to pay your rent unless you are benefiting from government subsidies and rent controls. I live in a tenement without an elevator. My next door neighbor lives in a decontrolled apartment. Free market. He pays $4,000 dollars a month. The State Assembly just voted to raise the minimum wage from $10.60 to $15 an hour over several years. Ha Ha. Remember: “Your rent is supposed to be one quarter of your pay?” Not since 1980. In the ’70s, the liberal Republican Senator, Jacob Javits was the main champion of tenants. That wing of the Republican party is gone in NY. And that’s why the only parties on the ballot in nearly every race are Democrat, Green and Working Families (both of which are Socialist parties which often run Communist candidates) which usually runs the Democrat candidate on an alternate line and does very well when it does that (they never get more than 1 percent of the vote when they run their own. It serves as a referendum within the Dem party. But for their stance on Israel, I would vote for them, too out of self-interest. There are also a lot of poor Haredim in Brooklyn with big families who benefit from government subsidies for the poor. They are among the biggest beneficiaries. You can bet that when they are not worried about violent crime, they are voting Democrat in local elections.

  12. @ Abolish_public_education:
    What makes you think abolishing public funding of education would stop leftists from rich families from paying their way? before the government began funding education, the average educational level was fourth grade. Poor and middle class people would just have to leave school earlier like before. Can we continue to be a high-tech nation with an illiterate population?

  13. .. many American university campuses [have become] hotbeds of anti-Semitism. Jewish students are being intimidated

    Stop government funding of education.

    Young people who want to practice leftism are free to get their parents to pay for the activity.

    No more government-guaranteed student loans.
    No tax subsidies (tuition covers only ~half).
    No more always-left, X Studies departments.
    No more government research grants.