Photo Credit:
Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Every nation suffers its quislings. Jews are no exception. Indeed, Jews might have more than their quota of quislings because many American Jews are really secular progressives. Faced with a choice between their progressive values and their Jewishness, progressive Jews will always be progressives in their behavior and nominally Jewish when it is convenient.

Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D -9) has a progressive pedigree that even fellow legislator, Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT), would find enviable. Representing one of the most populous and progressive Jewish districts in America, Schakowsky has never hesitated to acknowledge her ideological orientation.


So, it was not surprising that when Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pleading the case for Israel’s survival before congress, Schakowsky was less than conspicuous by her absence. After all, Schakowsky’s North Shore congressional district boasts some of the most anti-Zionist, Zionist congregations in America.

One wonders why the Palestinians even bother with their propaganda campaigns when the progressive Jews of Evanston, Illinois and the other fashionable North Shore suburbs do it with a nuanced sophistication that provides the Palestinian cause with a “legitimacy” even their Saudi patrons could not buy.

Among progressive Jews, Israel is an historical accident that they along with President Barack Obama and George Soros, a major financial backer of the New Israel Fund and J Street, will yet rectify.

Whether it is assisting the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign, defending Palestinian terrorism in a Manhattan courtroom, or attempting to recreate what Abba Eban called Israel’s Auschwitz borders, Jewish progressives are there. And Schakowsky’s Jewish progressive constituents know she is standing with them.

But sometimes the Jewish community is still capable of showing that not everyone is willing to follow the Schakowskys of the world into oblivion. The “unJews,” as my Israeli friends derisively and appropriately call these people, might be sizable in number, but they are not without opposition.

Schakowsky was slated to be honored at the Jewish disabilities charity Keshet’s annual Rainbow Banquet on March 8, but within 90 minutes of Schakowsky turning her back on the Jewish people, Keshet issued to Schakowsky the equivalent of the two words commonly associated with the old Saturday Night Live Weekend Update skit, featuring the late Gilda Radner as Emily Litella, “never mind.”

Publicly Keshet said “unanticipated circumstances beyond our control” is why she will not be on hand. But privately at least one board member advised my Salomon Center colleague Paul Miller, “The concern is that an actual protest would take place right in the lobby to protest Jan Schakowsky. Ultimately the decision was made that this is a Keshet dinner and the focus needs to be about the kids of Keshet, not about the congresswoman.” But some on Chicago’s heavily Jewish North Shore were saying that given Schakowsky’s lemming-like obedience to Obama and her J-Street oriented positions on Israel, it was a mistake to honor her in the first place.

At a time when anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head across the world in a new, virulent, insidious, and even lethal form under the cover of anti-Zionism and when Israel is threatened by an Iranian nuclear ambition that glorifies its intent to wipe Israel off the face of the planet, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is part of the problem. In her own mendacious and clumsy way, her public Jewishness is an attempt to give legitimacy to Obama’s naïve and dangerous Iranian policy.

Keshet’s decision is laudable. It gives the rest of us hope that there are still some Jews that will not go quietly into the night but will rage and rage some more against the quislings among us. Let those among us who give comfort to those who would extinguish us be banished from our midst as the pariahs they have become.


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Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for Truth & Accountability.


  1. This is not about ‘right wing’ or ‘left wing’ anymore, Herr Vecht. This is about standing up to evil. Those who appease, abet, and enable evil to flourish are evil and must be stopped. I would think that someone from The Netherlands, given both WWII history and current events (i.e. the imminent Muslim take-over of your country) would understand where Jews would be coming from. Perhaps not, if you’re so wrapped up in your ideology and parochial politics.

  2. abe:

    some jews simply believe that a state is incompatible with the ethos and ethics of jewish tradition. they do not seek to apologize for or justify islamic terrorism, or posit that jews politically deserve being targeted, they simply say that the measures a state must take to protect its citizens strain religious belief.

    i think this mistaken, but, have little quarrel with it.

    but, the jewish progressive's thinking on islamic terrorism is simply inaccessible to me. they champion the positions of islamic terrorism which seem to me utterly irreconcilable with jewish thought, tradition and belief. and, they excuse acts of barbarity taken against the jewish people that are indefensible, under any rational system of political or religious thought. and, they place upon the israeli state impossible & irresponsible demands for appeasement and surrender to islamic terrorism, such as will inevitably lead to the destruction of the israeli state.

    they are half again too clever for their own good. but, then again, so are most communists.

    john jay

  3. she is not naive. she is committed, much in the same way as any comintern agent of the 1950's. she does what she does not in any mistaken notion of things, but purposefully with an end in mind. the triumph of international socialism, and the totalitarian state, …. , it's as simple as that. she is not naively religious, she is simply irreligious. to her, their is no lost soul as stake.

  4. Well, she has a constuency that elects her, so be it. I disagree with her on the lack of merit of her arguement and it's (her support of Obama's dealings with Iran regardless of Congressional approval) danger to the State of Israel, in my opinion. Attacking her as a quisling or defending her because she's of Jewish heritage is simplistic and wrong.

  5. Jan Schakowsky is another one of those sickening leftist liberal Obama ass kissing Jewish Anti Semites. Liberalism is a mental illness and unfortunately so many of my fellow Jews are infected with this malady. These idiots like Schakowsky are worse than the goyim.

  6. what a shandeh this despicable stunt this ultra liberal Jewess pulled on Netanyahu. I will NEVER vote for her again! I am very sorry that I ever voted for her because she is Jewish. she completely betrayed my trust and she should be ashamed of her absence at Netanyahu's historical speech to Congress. My only hope is that she gets her ass kicked at next election time…..Neeeh…

  7. I can do you one better. I didn't vote for her to begin with. Someone in the know told me that she wouldn't even debate her opponent. I also called her office and voiced my concerns about her not showing up for the speech. After this happened I called them again to remind them that she's representing the people and not herself and it would have been easy for her to find a poll where the Jewish community in her district supported the PM. What a hack.

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