The left has betrayed the Jews.
This is a broad reiteration of a central truth that resides within almost everything that I write concerning the never-ending Arab-Muslim war against us in the Middle East. Decade upon decade, no one has done more than the Jewish people to promote ideas that reside at the heart of the progressive movement. As one of the most persecuted peoples on the planet it was natural for us to advance notions of social justice, universal human rights, and an end to racism. In the United States Jews were at the forefront of pushing for the New Deal, the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-War movement, women’s rights, Gay rights, environmentalism, the counterculture, and the entire hodge-podge of political sub-movements associated with the New Left of the 1960s and the 1970s. For Jews in the United States supporting the left, or at the very least, the Democratic party, is deeply encoded in our DNA and it will take generations to free ourselves from that encoding.
We need to do so, however, because the left is proving itself toxic to the well-being of the Jewish people precisely because it fails to live up to its core values. If the progressive-left ever actually stood for social justice or universal human rights it does so no longer. One cannot smack around the tiny, lone Jewish State of Israel on a daily basis while ignoring the 5.5 million dead in the Congo, or the Islamic genocide against non-Muslims in Darfur, and still claim to stand for universal human rights. It, frankly, could not be more obvious. One cannot stand up for “justice” for the Palestinian people while entirely ignoring the fate of women, Gay people, and non-Muslims throughout the Muslim Middle East and still claim to stand for universal human rights.
Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that the progressive-left is, with the lone exception of political Islam, the most racist political movement operating in the west today. While the progressives claim to be anti-racist, and fling around charges of racism toward others as if they were confetti, they are simultaneously, tragically, deeply racist themselves. Most western progressives would not acknowledge the Jihad if they were bound hands and feet and on their knees in some basement in Karachi. The reason for this is because progressives treat “people of color,” and particularly Arab-Muslim people of color, as if they were little children without any historical agency in this world. It is what Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld calls ”humanitarian racism.”
Because they hold a superior and imperial attitude towards non-white people they honestly believe, as a group, that only white people can be racist. Because non-whites are held to be the eternal victims of white colonialism they can never be held responsible for anything that they may say or do. Thus if much of the Muslim Middle East holds to the most screaming genocidal anti-Semitism imaginable, an anti-Semitism at least as ferocious as the Nazi variety, they can never be called out on it because, really, it’s not their fault. Progressive-left racists think that non-whites only ever react to what we do or what the west does or what the United States does. There is virtually no recognition that Islam was for centuries the most powerful, cruel, and expansive empire the world had ever seen. To recognize this would be to subvert the “Muslim as victim” narrative that progressives promote and that resides at the heart of their notions of foreign policy.
It is for this reason that, on the political level, white progressives treat non-whites as something other than adults responsible for their own behavior.
However, if the western left has betrayed its Jewish constituency they have also placed progressive-left Jews in a very untenable situation. Jewish political activists within the western progressive-left are increasingly in the position of having to choose between the Jewish State of Israel and the progressive-left, itself. Rising left-wing hostility toward Israel is making it harder and harder for Jewish people to operate in a spirit of solidarity with their non-Jewish friends and allies. On a daily basis throughout progressive-left venues like Daily Kos or the Huffington Post or the UK Guardian, left-wing Israel Haters and anti-Semitic anti-Zionists attack Israel and Jewish progressives either defend the Jewish state or join in the attacks. Jewish progressives who defend Israel are spit upon and demeaned and told that they are something other than “good liberals” because no good liberal would ever defend the racist, imperialist, colonialist, apartheid, racist State of Israel.
And thus we come to just why I am constantly calling out the left for their betrayal of their own alleged values and for their betrayal of the Jewish people. Jews represent only a tiny proportion of the world population and almost half of us reside in the Middle East. The Jews of the Middle East were for thirteen hundred years, between the rise of Islam and Jewish freedom from dhimmitude with World War I, a people subject to persecution by the much larger Arab-Muslim majority population. In some places and times it was better, and in some places and times it was worse, but even at its best Jewish dhimmitude under the boot of imperial Islam was never better than black people had it in the American “Jim Crow” south. For thirteen centuries the Jews of the Middle East were a persecuted minority and as soon as they gained their freedom, in the early part of the twentieth century, the Arab-Muslim world launched a war against them that continues to this day.
And this is why progressive disdain for Israel represents such a betrayal. It was Zionism that redeemed the Jewish people and not just for those of us who happen to live in Israel. If Israel is sometimes harsh with the local Arab population it is because the Arabs outnumber the Jews fifty or sixty to one in the Middle East and they simply refuse to allow those Jews to live in peace, free from ongoing harassment, genocidal incitement, and outright murder.
And that is what the progressive-left, including progressive-left Jews, seem not to understand.