Even the left has deferred to the Jewish establishment’s demand to bow down before Baal

The other day Adam Horowitz published a dialogue with Daniel Sieradski of Occupy Judaism. This is a response to Sieradski from Jack Ross, author of Rabbi Outcast: Elmer Berger and American Jewish Anti-Zionism.

I feel compelled to write to you about your exchange with Adam Horowitz.

You’ll recall I saw you at Simchat Torah. I was disturbed by what I clearly sensed was the objective of “Occupy Judaism”, however noble and edifying its stated purpose, of seeking to manufacture the divisions you now so eagerly exploit no less than anyone on the pro-Palestinian side. I was going to write a dispatch but then saw that I had nothing of substance to add to what Phil had already written of his visit to OWS.

But your exchange with Adam confirms the fundamental duplicity here. “Support for terrorism”? “The middle-American pro-Israel majority”? As Bill Buckley used to say, I don’t want to say anything that would suggest that you believe a word of what you said.

But all this was already evident as soon as you went to work for the American Jewish Establishment. Exactly why do you expect anyone to care a whit what someone at Tablet magazine thinks?

I write this as someone who has many differences with the pro-Palestinian activist scene, and also with the tactics and assumptions of the activist left symbolized by OWS.  I do not really care about any of the controversies within Occupy Wall Street, but honestly, do you really think it so imperative to retain the good will of the likes of Mark Green and Eliot Spitzer?

For instance, you are certainly correct to point out that US aid to Israel is only 0.08% of the federal budget, and that most of this effectively amounts to corporate welfare for the military-industrial complex. But the consequences of this arrangement extend far beyond the accounting ledger.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, leading organizations of the left such as the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee were unshakably committed to American military aid to Israel, and for this reason the post-Vietnam left was never able to offer a serious critique of, or opposition to, the military-industrial complex. And because there was no serious response to the military-industrial complex, there was no effective response to the de-industrialization of America, the engine of American economic decline and the single largest factor in the decline of the labor movement.  (I say this as someone researching a book on the Socialist Party; there are consequences of Israel idolatry.)

You are acting as the agent of a wicked American Jewish Establishment, which Jewish Voice for Peace is exactly right to target for “occupation”. The “delegitimization” of Israel is largely a red herring; what has demanded delegitimization for the last 70 years is the American Jewish Establishment you now serve, which has perpetrated a perilous and tragic fraud in convincing the public at large that there exists an entity called “the Jewish people” and that Judaism amounts to little more than securing the political imperatives of that fictitious collective by any means necessary.

There is no question in mind that the Jewish establishment wants to press the issue at least as much as any Palestinian solidarity activists; they want to cause trouble and probably avenge their imagined past battles over “the left”.  The central problem here is not racism, but the demand by that establishment to bow down before Baal and declare the sacredness and glory of the State of Israel, all that’s wrong with it being superfluous.

A true “Occupy Judaism”, as JVP understands, seeks the liberation of progressive Jews from the “community” and to fight for justice and righteousness for the victims of the American Jewish Establishment, including but not limited to the Palestinians. But you and your “official” Occupy Judaism, as a self-identified agent of the enemy, are nothing but an impostor.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 25 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Dan Crowther says:

    Jack Ross for the Win!!!

  2. Newclench says:

    Conflating “occupyjudaism” with the Jewish establishment is ridiculous. Jack – you do not know of which you speak. On a human level, these are different people acting from different motivations for different agendas.
    That said, how amusing to rehash this issue on the morning that Zuccotti Park was cleared.

  3. patm says:

    “The “delegitimization” of Israel is largely a red herring; what has demanded delegitimization for the last 70 years is the American Jewish Establishment you now serve, which has perpetrated a perilous and tragic fraud in convincing the public at large that there exists an entity called “the Jewish people” and that Judaism amounts to little more than securing the political imperatives of that fictitious collective by any means necessary.

    Stirring words! And true! Thanks Jack.

    “A perilous and tragic fraud….” Yes. ”not religious”

    • pabelmont says:

      patm: Exactly. Exactly. The KEY QUOTE. I hereby declare that I am not part of any “the Jewish People”, not AIPAC’s, not Israel’s, not anyone’s. I am ME. I am a human being. It is enough. And I do not demand (on my behalf as a Jew) one square inch of Palestine, which I desire to be returned as far as possible to the Palestinian people (the people who lived there for hundreds of years until expelled in 1948).

      • RoHa says:

        eee will excommunicate you for that.

        • Shmuel says:

          eee will excommunicate you for that.

          No worries. I contacted the Jewish Licensing Board (JLB) and they informed me that they have no “eee” on their rolls (or bagels, as Mooser might say), and that my status (Jew in Good Standing – JiGS) remains unchanged. They added that impersonating an officer of the JLB is a very serious offence, punishable by … excommunication :-)

  4. MarkF says:

    We have to shred the whole sales training 101-”reduction-to-rediculous” argument about the percentage of the budget for Israel’s welfare.

    U.S. Child Welfare Services decreased thru the 2000′s to 282 million in 2008. What % of the budget is that? Our American children from broken homes are so much less deserving?

    I’m sure the list could be endless. What other opportunity costs are we missing out on by not shifting this money back into our country?

    Since neoconservatives loathe welfare, why do they use the same argument that the welfare given to Israel is used to buy things from American companies. Doesn’t the same logic apply to giving welfare to Ameicans to buy American products? Just a tad hypocritical?

    Funny how both the left and right use this .08% of the budget argument.

  5. hophmi says:

    “You are acting as the agent of a wicked American Jewish Establishment”

    Utterly ridiculous comment to anyone who actually knows Dan Sieradski’s work.

    Perfect example of how criticism of Israelis not enough for the pro-Palestinian community; no, you have to be an Israel-basher to fit in here. Only people who believe in cartoon versions of politics and history need apply.

    • annie says:

      have you read Palestinians express solidarity to NYC ‘Occupy’ camp before raid; Activist in tweet controversy linked to Israel PR groups?

      Sieradski has also provided professional services to groups whose core mission is to influence public opinion in support of the Israeli state by whitewashing its crimes against Palestinians. His LinkedIn profile notes his work with Israel21c, a hasbara organization which “redefines the conversation about Israel” by diverting media and public attention away from Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and instead toward it’s “vibrant diversity, humanity, creativity, innovative spirit, and responsiveness”. The organization, which has also “trained more than 1,500 Israel activists in seven US cities,” is currently headed by former AIPAC President Amy Friedkin.

  6. My earlier comment was kicked out.

    I was disappointed with the very negative personally offensive tone.

    “You are acting as the agent of a wicked American Jewish Establishment”

    Sadly, that very statement contains the seed of ‘you are not acting as the agent of the unified Palestinian solidarity movement’.

    Why would an activist seek to dismember the movement that he is advocating for the sake of the feelings of a distracting faction?

    • yourstruly says:

      “acting as the agent of a unified Palestinian solidarity movement?”

      for a jew isn’t that like being a britisher who supported the revolutionaries of 1776?

      • RoHa says:

        “a britisher who supported the revolutionaries of 1776?”

        I trust you know that quite a few did. The great Richard Price was one of the prominent supporters of the revolutionaries. Also, some British Army units refused to board the ships to go and fight against the British colonists in the Americas.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Remind me how many of the most influential neoconservatives in the US government are Jewish, Witty.

  7. jayn0t says:

    Tom Paine was the foremost example of a Brit who supported the revolution. Besides, the analogy is inexact. The position of an ordinary American in 1775 wasn’t that different from that of an ordinary Englishman – they had no interest in that war. The empire wasn’t ethnically cleansing white Americans the way Israel is the Palestinians. The people being ethnically cleansed had no reason to support the revolution either.

    “EVEN the left…”? The Anti-Defamation League etc. have great influence on the left. How is the left more resistant to Zionist corruption than the right?

    • RoHa says:

      “Tom Paine was the foremost example of a Brit who supported the revolution.”

      By the time he wrote “Common Sense”, he regarded himeslf as an American. For example, in “African Slavery in America” (1775) he uses “us” to refer to Americans. Jolly good thing, too. Terribly embarrassing for Americans to admit that their country was invented and named by an Englishman.

      (Of course, before 1776, an American was just a Brit who lived in America.)

  8. annie says:

    F’ING UNBELIEVABE

    the American Jewish Establishment you now serve, which has perpetrated a perilous and tragic fraud in convincing the public at large that there exists an entity called “the Jewish people” and that Judaism amounts to little more than securing the political imperatives of that fictitious collective by any means necessary.

    There is no question in mind that the Jewish establishment wants to press the issue at least as much as any Palestinian solidarity activists; they want to cause trouble and probably avenge their imagined past battles over “the left”. The central problem here is not racism, but the demand by that establishment to bow down before Baal and declare the sacredness and glory of the State of Israel, all that’s wrong with it being superfluous.

    A true “Occupy Judaism”, as JVP understands, seeks the liberation of progressive Jews from the “community” and to fight for justice and righteousness for the victims of the American Jewish Establishment, including but not limited to the Palestinians. But you and your “official” Occupy Judaism, as a self-identified agent of the enemy, are nothing but an impostor.

    how did i miss this? how did i miss this incredible article????????????????????????
    i am completely flabberghasted. there’s so much right now going on in the 11/11 ‘Gorenberg says a one-state solution would produce another Lebanon’ post pertaining to this..we should be having the same kind of conversation here.

    i’m worried (i am hard adapting) with the new format articles like this will get lost in the shuffle. it’s not just that, there’s so many great posts here sometimes i don’t get to them all tho i make every effort to familiarize myself with ever post at the beginning of the day..but i missed this and it only has 18 comments. it’s so os so..amazing.

    and i have a question..i will ask it again if no one shows up to answer it..but what does this mean and can someone explain it to me:

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, leading organizations of the left such as the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee were unshakably committed to American military aid to Israel, and for this reason the post-Vietnam left was never able to offer a serious critique of, or opposition to, the military-industrial complex. And because there was no serious response to the military-industrial complex, there was no effective response to the de-industrialization of America, the engine of American economic decline and the single largest factor in the decline of the labor movement.

    why was the commitment of DSOC’s support for israel responsible for the post-Vietnam left inability to offer a serious critique of, or opposition to, the military-industrial complex?

    (disclosure, only once before do i recall making a conscious attempt to attract attention to a post in the comment feed. i hope it worked) READ THIS GREAT ARTICLE BY JACK ROSS.

    and thank you mr ross

    • john h says:

      Yeah, awesome truth that is believable to anyone not high on you know what.

      This is the statement that got my particular attention:

      The central problem here is not racism, but the demand by that establishment to bow down before Baal and declare the sacredness and glory of the State of Israel, all that’s wrong with it being superfluous.

      That’s because it’s a theme I’ve been expressing for some time regarding Zionism and Zionist Israel. Today for example, before reading this great article, in telling Richard that the true solution “would mean you would be without the idol you worship from a distant foreign land.”

      The central problem of Zionism is not racism but idolatry, plain and simple. I have equated it with the Adam and Eve story, the golden calf, and the cry for a king “like other nations” in the story found in 1 Samuel 8. It is worship of the state and sacrifice to it.

      It matters not whether you are atheist or they are or were atheist. It still applies in spades because the god of the Tanach is the Jewish heritage. It is the reason for their being and what makes them different.

  9. kapok says:

    “leading organizations of the left such as the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee were unshakably committed to American military aid to Israel”

    Then they weren’t “leading”.

  10. On November 29, 1947 what percentage of Ashkenazic Jews in Europe or America celebrated the UN partition resolution? I suspect the percentage was quite large. Those people had just been through a world war or were conscious of it and saw themselves as part of a collective, if that collective does not fit the definition of a nation, those people who celebrated did not take note of the illogical nature of their celebration. Just because there was a small group of Jews that opposed the UN resolution, does not make the attitude of the majority of Jews in November of 1947 a result of propaganda. It was not. It was the result of history.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      On November 29, 1947 what percentage of Ashkenazic Jews in Europe or America celebrated the UN partition resolution? I suspect the percentage was quite large.

      Why? Zionists categorically rejected A) that a “Jewish state” should be allowed to permit a majority of native non-Jews to keep their homes and B) that Jews weren’t entitled to “Eretz Israel.”

      Unless you are arguing that most Jews in the US weren’t Zionist at the time, in which case, I’d imagine they didn’t care. I was raised Catholic in the US and I couldn’t care less whether the Vatican has an observer’s seat or not at the UN. You live in the US, exactly how many pogroms have you suffered since you got back here, WJ?