web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Leftist Jews And The Longing For Victimhood


For Neumann, as for Rose, these voices are needed more than ever today, during the Jews’ “dark night of the soul,” as Rose calls it, because, in Neumann’s words, “Israel’s current policies are themselves a threat to Jews and Israelis everywhere.”

That’s why Jews must speak out against Israel, continues Neumann: “The case for Jewish complicity [in Israel’s crimes] seems much stronger than the case for German complicity [in the Holocaust]. If many Jews spoke out, it would have an enormous effect.”

Presumably, by this Neumann means to imply that wartime Germans were powerless victims of Hitler. Perhaps he’d go on to say, as it logically follows, that they were just “obeying orders.”

And so Jews line up to comply, as if condemning Israel in the public square was a secular surrogate to the Vidui, or Yom Kippur confession. In an op-ed in the International Herald Tribune, Oxford historian Avi Shlaim justified his denunciation of Zionism by appealing to a faith he never felt much connection to: “One of the greatest accolades in Judaism,” he instructed his readers, “is to be a rodef shalom, a seeker of peace.” That’s why he sincerely believed that “Israel today is the real enemy of the Jews.”

Calls abound for Jews to repent, condemn Israel, hear the gospel of anti-Zionism and convert to a new, exciting form of Judaism, based more on Karl Marx and Rosa Luxembourg than Theodor Herzl and David Ben Gurion. So is the rush to heed them.

With anti-Semitism rising across Europe alongside violence in the Middle East, Jews have been under pressure for several years now. Instead of getting sympathy for the harassment they are subjected to, Jews have earned only scorn for their refusal to denounce Israel first.

That is the sad truth – one that anti-Zionist Jewish intellectuals, with their demonizing rhetoric against Israel and their patronizing attitude toward fellow Jews, have irresponsibly abetted. To shield themselves from shame and abuse, Jews are asked to discard Israel from their own collective identity. This step, and an active denunciation of Israel as the antithesis of progressive and Jewish values (themselves, in this vision, synonymous with one another), will gain them full acceptance. Scores of Jews, especially among the progressive intellectuals, indeed comply in public acts of mea culpa, thus lending an alibi to anti-Semites and gentrifying anti-Jewish prejudice in the process.

A simple explanation is at hand for this: it is lonely, on the Left, when you step out of line. And the party line, when it comes to Israel and the Jews, is that one can express a proud Jewish identity only through the experience of suffering and victimization from the past, which the Holocaust has come to embody above all.

The Jew as a victim and as a witness of the quintessential, archetypal experience of suffering emerges as the positive Jewish role model, in sharp contrast to the pro-Israel or even Zionist Jew, who is chastised for having betrayed both universal values and what is seen as the authentic Jew. Again, to borrow from Christian terminology, the Jew as the sacrificial lamb, the Agnus Dei, is what we are being asked to be.

That’s why so many Jews, spiteful of their faith and ashamed of Zionism’s accomplishments as a society that rejects the role of the victim, wish Israel away. For them, it was so much better before Zionism, when we could still say, with some self-righteousness, s’iz shver tsu zayn a Yid – it is hard to be a Jew!

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Leftist Jews And The Longing For Victimhood”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 4:04 pm)
Latest Indepth Stories
Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

David_Grossman

Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.

488px-WielkaSynagoga3_Lodz

In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”

Netanyahu-Obama-030212

Obama never hid his contempt for the Israeli government or the majority of Israel’s voters.

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

More Articles from Emaunuele Ottolenghi

In an essay published in the Jewish magazine Tikkun last January, Bertell Ollman, one of the world’s best-known Marxist theorists, recounted how, on his way into the operating room, he realized that if he did not survive his surgery, he would die a Jew. The prospect was so unsettling that, once healed, he wrote his letter of resignation from the Jewish people. The reasons were Zionism, Israel, and the support its policies enjoy from other Jews.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/leftist-jews-and-the-longing-for-victimhood/2007/10/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: