Zionism has distorted American Jewish life

Israel/Palestine
on 78 Comments

One of the best speeches at the National Summit to Reassess the Special Relationship between the U.S. and Israel last month was by Allan Brownfeld. The summit has now posted the speech in video and transcript. Here are extended excerpts. –Ed.

We all know that Zionism has distorted American policy in the Middle East. At the same time, it has had a terribly negative impact upon Jewish life in the United States and throughout the world. And it is important to remember that, historically, Zionism was a minority view within Judaism, particularly in America.

The organization whose journal I edit, the American Council for Judaism, was established in 1942 and it was established primarily because the established Jewish organizations, which had previously opposed the concept of Jewish nationalism, had changed course. So the Council was organized to maintain this older view that, first, Judaism is a religion, not a nationality, that American Jews are American by nationality and Jews by religion, just as other people are Protestant, Catholic, or Muslim.

This was the view maintained by the vast majority of American Jews all through history. In my opinion, it’s the view of the silent majority today. Zionism gained a foothold largely because of the reaction to Naziism. Something had to be done in the wake of the horror of Europe.

But I just want to give you a little bit of the history so you understand where we’re coming from. In 1841, at the dedication of Temple Beth Elohim in Charleston, South Carolina, the oldest reform synagogue in America, Rabbi Gustav Posnanski declared, “This country is our Palestine. This city is our Jerusalem. This house of God is our temple.”…

One of the leading Jewish theologians of the 20th century, Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “Judaism is not a religion of space and does not worship the soil. So true the state of Israel is not the climax of Jewish history but a test of the integrity of the Jewish people and the competence of Judaism.”

And in 1929, a respected Orthodox rabbi, Aaron Samuel Tamarat wrote that the very notion of a sovereign Jewish state as a spiritual center was a contradiction to Judaism’s ultimate purpose. He wrote, “Judaism is not some religious concentration that can be localized or situated in a single territory. Neither is Judaism a nationality in the sense of modern nationalism, fit to be woven into the threefoldedness of homeland, army, and heroic songs. No, Judaism is Torah, ethics, an exaltation of the spirit. If Judaism is truly Torah, then it cannot be reduced to the confines of any particular territory, for as scripture said of Torah, it’s measure is greater than the Earth.”

It is my opinion that what has happened to American Judaism has completely corrupted its religious nature. What we are witnessing today, synagogues flying Israeli flags, programs urging American Jews to immigrate to Israel, their real homeland, is a form of idolatry, making the sovereign state of Israel the object of worship, rather than God.

In 1999, the Union for Reformed Judaism adopted a resolution saying Israel is central to our religion. Israel, not God. And one of the prominent Zionists, Professor [Ruth] Wisse of Harvard University, said at one time, “I would rather surround myself with Jews who loved Israel and didn’t believe in God at all than with those who believed in God and did not love Israel.”

It is also my view that Zionism is a subversive enterprise. What would we, as Americans, think of any religious institution in our society that flew a foreign flag in its houses of worship, that told young Americans that this is not really their homeland, that some place else is their homeland, and that the highest form of their religious expression is to immigrate to that country?

Now, I doubt that very many American Jews believe any of that. Very few American Jews are immigrating to Israel, yet their religious institutions manifest that sensibility.

If you read the Jewish press, whether the Forward or the Washington Jewish Week or local Jewish papers in Los Angeles or Cleveland, you get the feeling that you are reading the papers of an expatriate community. It’s as if you were reading the papers of recent immigrants from El Salvador who are reading about the daily events in their home country and were being urged to return.

Now, there have been many distortions in American Jewish life. Consider the hypocrisy of American Jewish organizations which have gone to court to remove voluntary school prayer from our schools, remove Christmas trees from our schools, yet support a theocracy in Israel where there is no separation of church and state. The Israel calls itself a Jewish state, yet non-Orthodox Jews have fewer rights in Israel than any place in the Western World. Reformed rabbis have no right to perform weddings or funerals. Conversions by reformed rabbis are not recognized. Israel is not a free society with regard to religion.

The question then arises, American Jewish organizations who have dedicated themselves with such fervor to a strict separation of church and state seem not really to believe in separation of church and state when Jews are a majority. It’s interesting that when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Virginia Declaration of Religious Freedom, they were not members of a persecuted minority. They were people who believed in religious freedom. One wonders if the American Jewish establishment shares that belief.

Consider how Israel has infiltrated American Jewish life to the extent when resolutions were proposed in Congress to recognize the Armenian genocide by Turkey, Jewish organizations led the crusade to remove that legislation and defeat it because Israel, at that time, was allied with Turkey. I suspect if the same resolution came up today, these organizations might take a different, different position.

In Israel itself, there is a growth of racism, there is a growth of religious extremism. The book The King’s Torah was a bestseller. This is a book that said Jews and non-Jews are basically different in nature, Jews are much closer to God than non-Jews, who are referred to as uncompassionate….

We understand there’s religious extremism in many parts of the world. My point is why don’t American Jews say a word about this? Not a word of criticism of the racism and extremism growing in Israel. It has distorted Jewish values. It has distorted American Jewish life.

Now, I’m not a pessimist because, as I said earlier, I believe that the position I represent represents a silent majority of American Jews, not those who are members of AIPAC or the American Jewish Committee. But the vast majority of American Jews believe they are Americans, believe that Judaism is their religion, do not believe that Israel is their homeland. Zionism is in retreat, in my opinion, within the Jewish community.

We’ve seen a number of events. Hillel foundations in various parts of the country are rejecting the guidelines set down by the Hillel Foundation officially. And Eric Fingerhut, the former congressman from Ohio who is now the head of Hillel, said, “According to our guidelines, no anti-Zionists will be permitted to speak at Hillel foundations.” Mr. Fingerhut must not be aware of the long tradition of Jewish opposition to Zionism that I have just recited…

So among young people, there’s a great belief in freedom of speech, in freedom of debate, and a desire that moral values, treating each individual with human dignity, be applied everywhere: in Palestine, as well as in Israel, as well as in our own country.

So I think Zionism within the Jewish community is in retreat, and time will tell whether I’m right. Thank you very much.

About Allan C. Brownfeld

Allan C. Brownfeld is a nationally syndicated columnist and serves as Associate Editor of THE LINCOLN REVIEW and editor of ISSUES. The author of five books, he has served on the staff of the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President.

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78 Responses

  1. giladg
    April 8, 2014, 11:59 am

    American Jews should read the likes of Mark Twain and others to learn a little on how insecure Jews were in the USA just 150 years ago and how they were perceived. Brownfeld should not draw on experiences that span only a few years. History should teach Jews that the goy who wants to knock them on the head is not too far away.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 8, 2014, 12:07 pm

      By suggesting that what happened in the 19th C. could happen here in the 21st, simply because it was done then by non-Jews (note the proper, non-racist term) and there exist non-Jews now, you are clearly a bigoted paranoiac. You might want to seek professional help for that.

      • giladg
        April 8, 2014, 5:35 pm

        Yes Woody, go tell this to the Jews of the Ukraine who are starting to run for their lives. And was it not Obama who ridiculed Romney and Palin after Romney placed Russia as the biggest geo-political threat to the US and Palin said Russia would invade the Ukraine? However much things seem to change, they stay the same.
        The Jews of the US and elsewhere should internalize the fact that there is no logic to antisemitism and the hatred of Israel. When the crowd gets going, watch out. All those Jew haters who frequent Mondoweiss are now licking their lips at the smell of blood.

      • libra
        April 8, 2014, 5:43 pm

        giladg: Yes Woody, go tell this to the Jews of the Ukraine who are starting to run for their lives.

        Please direct all Ukraine complaints to Ms. Nuland at our Eastern Europe desk.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 8, 2014, 7:28 pm

        “Yes Woody, go tell this to the Jews of the Ukraine who are starting to run for their lives.”

        Why would I do that? You made a specific claim about The USA. Ukraine is irrelevant. Oh, that’s right, to a paranoid racist like you, all us “goys” look alike, eh?

        “All those Jew haters who frequent Mondoweiss are now licking their lips at the smell of blood.”

        LMAO. Seriously. Seek help.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        April 9, 2014, 7:59 am

        What evidence is there that Jews in Ukraine are starting to run for their lives? Who exactly has run where?

        Mind you, as Ukraine is gradually sliding into civil war and possibly famine it might not be long until people start running for their lives. Not Jews in particular though.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 9, 2014, 10:15 am

        “What evidence is there that Jews in Ukraine are starting to run for their lives? Who exactly has run where?”

        Good points.

      • eljay
        April 9, 2014, 7:38 am

        >> The Jews of the US and elsewhere should internalize the fact that there is no logic to antisemitism and the hatred of Israel.

        Anti-Semitism – like all prejudices – is an injustice, the answer to which is justice. All people should internalize that fact.

        Additional injustices include:
        – terrorism and ethnic cleansing;
        – land theft, occupation, colonialism;
        – oppression, torture and murder; and
        – abrogation of obligations under international law and accountability for (war) crimes committed.

        Israel as supremacist “Jewish State” is guilty on all counts. The answer to the injustice of supremacist “Jewish State” is justice.

        Jews of the US and elsewhere should internalize that fact.

    • Citizen
      April 8, 2014, 12:35 pm

      @ giladg
      In the end, Mark Twain was a product of his times, same as those who wrote the Talmud were products of their time. Using your logic, why not take it back to the Talmud?

      PS: Twain was also accused of being too pro-Jewish in his time because he praised the Jewish community , and as well, he was accused of being a Jew himself.

      If “History should teach that the goy who wants to knock them (Jews) on the head is not too far away,” should it also teach that the Jew who wants to swindle and exploit the Goy is not too far away?

      Further, what do you think is the point of the 20th Century Nuremberg Trials?
      Should the principles applied there, apply now? If not, why not? If so, should they apply universally? If not, why not?

      • giladg
        April 9, 2014, 1:02 am

        Taking pride at being a “Goy” Citizen? Don’t think I did not notice that you capitalized the word. Mondoweiss has become a magnet for you and your type.

        By the way , your comment about Twain only strengthens what I said about the precarious situation Jews in the US were in.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 9, 2014, 10:26 am

        ” Don’t think I did not notice that you capitalized the word. ”

        LMAO. oh the infamous “statement through capitalization”!!! Run for the hills!!! Citizen might use punctuation!!!

    • talknic
      April 8, 2014, 12:38 pm

      @ giladg “American Jews should read the likes of Mark Twain and others to learn a little on how insecure Jews were in the USA just 150 years ago..”

      Prior to and as of 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf what Twain said was and still is irrelevant to the legal status of Israeli sovereignty and Israel’s illegal actions in non-Israeli territories.

    • Donald
      April 8, 2014, 1:11 pm

      “on how insecure Jews were in the USA just 150 years ago and how they were perceived”

      Women didn’t have the vote, black men had it and then it was in effect taken away, Native Americans were being ethnically cleansed, Chinese were often lynched, and only now are gays starting to have the right to marry.

      So rather than work for a world where everyone has equal rights, you look at how things were in the 1800’s and then divide the entire world into “Jews” and “Everyone else” and go from there.

      • Elisabeth
        April 8, 2014, 3:42 pm

        It could not have been said better, Donald!

      • giladg
        April 8, 2014, 5:45 pm

        No other people on this planet have been persecuted the way Jews have and for the length of time this has continued. I don’t know if you are Jewish Donald, I assume not, but I would recommend you do a little research on the subject.

      • justicewillprevail
        April 8, 2014, 6:10 pm

        This kind of disingenuous claim is utterly distasteful. Rewriting history retrospectively in order to give some kind of specious justification for zionist colonisation and exploitation of other people is pitiful. No group of people has a monopoly on suffering, least of all people who are on the whole comfortable and wealthy relative to billions of people worldwide. You should study history if you want to claim some kind of moral low ground, where you will find innumerable examples of cruelty on a mass scale, if that is what you wish to quite misguidedly claim some kind of medal for.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 8, 2014, 7:05 pm

        No other people on this planet have been persecuted the way Jews have and for the length of time this has continued.

        according to some jews anyway. what was it hannah ardent wrote about jews being shocked or surprised of something during the 1800’s when some book on jewish history came out making that claim? someone quoted it here once and there was a big fight about it. and what do you mean by “this has continued”? as if jews today are persecuted like no other people on the planet? this is crazy.

        when you say “the way Jews have ” do you mean it was worst than the suffering of the congolese under leopold? this mentality of continuously being persecuted more than any other people is… nuts. it’s brainwashed thinking.

      • gamal
        April 8, 2014, 8:13 pm

        “It’s brainwashing”

        Judah Ibni Quraysh (Muslim Arabs are intrigued by his name) would undoubtedly agree with you, he discovered “Semitic” some centuries before that German dude, the greatest threat he faced during his life was that Jews may not sufficiently study the Targumim and thus misconstrue Biblical Aramaicisms, a dire threat no doubt.

      • giladg
        April 9, 2014, 1:20 am

        Destruction of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem and the wholesale slaughter of Jews 2000 years ago. The slaughter of Jews in Arabia by Mohammad. The Crusades. The Spanish Inquisition. The Pogroms in Russia. The Holocaust. The denial of Jewish history. And the continued one sided attacks by the UN that perpetrate violence and stir up hatred that help institutionalize antisemitism. How many UN resolutions have been passed criticizing Arab countries? The antisemites love nothing more than to see Jews attack other Jews and this is the reason Philip is such an attraction to them. You may know a few.

      • Shingo
        April 10, 2014, 4:37 am

        Destruction of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem and the wholesale slaughter of Jews 2000 years ago. The slaughter of Jews in Arabia by Mohammad. The Crusades. The Spanish Inquisition. The Pogroms in Russia. The Holocaust.

        What that tells us is that Jews were one of many people’s that suffered through tribulations but were able to survive, while others perished.

        And the continued one sided attacks by the UN that perpetrate violence and stir up hatred that help institutionalize antisemitism.

        NO such thing.

        How many UN resolutions have been passed criticizing Arab countries?

        Enough to have them bombed, invaded, and occupied. When has the UN ever authorized a no fly zone over Israel or intervention by peace keepers?

      • eljay
        April 8, 2014, 7:41 pm

        >> No other people on this planet have been persecuted the way Jews have and for the length of time this has continued.

        And Jews haven’t been persecuted the way other people on this planet have and for the length of time this has continued. But you don’t see these other people using terrorism and ethnic cleansing to establish oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist states.

      • JeffB
        April 8, 2014, 11:21 pm

        @eljay

        But you don’t see these other people using terrorism and ethnic cleansing to establish oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist states.

        The way you define those terms. Yes you do. That’s pretty much how every single state in today’s world arose.

      • Shingo
        April 10, 2014, 4:38 am

        That’s pretty much how every single state in today’s world arose.

        What was before all of these crimes were declared war crimes and a violation of international law, crimes against humanity and a violation of the UN Charter.

      • eljay
        April 9, 2014, 10:04 am

        >> The way you define those terms. Yes you do.

        Really? Could you tell me where I can find:
        – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Women State”?
        – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Homosexual State”?
        – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Roma State”?
        – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Dalit State”?

        (To name just a few.)

      • kalithea
        April 8, 2014, 7:58 pm

        Get your head out of the ancient history quicksand and quit with the poor-us victim card! It’s totally disingenuous, laughable and manipulative. Jews are on top of the world and they know it and admit it. Blacks will never be slaves again and this world is moving forward while you and ilk like you move backwards to justify crimes in a pariah state.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 9, 2014, 10:27 am

        “No other people on this planet have been persecuted the way Jews have and for the length of time this has continued.”

        Not in the exact way, no. But as a group black Africans have suffered more persecution for far longer.

      • RoHa
        April 10, 2014, 5:48 am

        So everyone, everywhere, throughout history, has hated Jews. Why would that be? Wrong deodorant, perhaps?

        http://www.gypsycreams.org/2009/09/

    • eljay
      April 8, 2014, 1:28 pm

      >> History should teach Jews that the goy who wants to knock them on the head is not too far away.

      What history teaches is that the answer to injustice is justice.

      Seen through the lens of hateful and immoral Zio-supremacism, history’s lesson becomes:

      The answer to injustice is justice unless the injustice is committed against Jews, in which case the answer to injustice is:
      – Jewish terrorism;
      – the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands; and
      – the establishment of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

      History is a good teacher. Zio-supremacists are lousy (and hateful and immoral) students.

      • kalithea
        April 8, 2014, 8:01 pm

        And Zio-supremacists are artful manipulators of the message.

    • Abierno
      April 8, 2014, 2:03 pm

      I would agree, giladg; especially where he wrote that “slavery dehumanized the slave and made monsters of the slave owner.” Careful reading of the subtext
      of his work would support Brownfeld’s assertion that “treating each person
      with human dignity be applied everywhere,” is an important moral percept.

  2. CitizenC
    April 8, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Zionism has distorted the world. It is the prime mover in the “clash of civilizations”, the “war on terror” and Islamophobia. It has “distorted” western Asia, to say the least. It has distorted the US; more than anything, it incited the 9/11 attacks, and the ensuing police state. It has distorted politics on the Middle East throughout the Euro-American world. It has done same to dissent from left and right alike. As other presentations at the Summit point out, for the US.

    http://natsummit.org/program.htm

  3. JeffB
    April 8, 2014, 12:27 pm

    What would we, as Americans, think of any religious institution in our society that flew a foreign flag in its houses of worship, that told young Americans that this is not really their homeland, that some place else is their homeland, and that the highest form of their religious expression is to immigrate to that country?

    Hmm that would be tough to imagine…. What we would as Americans think for example if the Christian God said stuff like:

    John 15:18 “If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first. 15:19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you do not belong to the world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. 15:20 Remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed my word, they will obey yours too. 15:21 But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But they no longer have any excuse for their sin. 15:23 The one who hates me hates my Father too. 15:24 If I had not performed among them the miraculous deeds that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen the deeds and have hated both me and my Father. 15:25 Now this happened to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without reason.’ 15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me, 15:27 and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

    I believe that the position I represent represents a silent majority of American Jews, not those who are members of AIPAC or the American Jewish Committee. But the vast majority of American Jews believe they are Americans, believe that Judaism is their religion, do not believe that Israel is their homeland. Zionism is in retreat, in my opinion, within the Jewish community.

    Dude I believe I’m an American, I believe Judaism is my religion (in just a cultural sense not even a faith sense), I don’t believe I’m Israeli and yet I’m still a solid Zionist.

    My point is why don’t American Jews say a word about this? Not a word of criticism of the racism and extremism growing in Israel. It has distorted Jewish values. It has distorted American Jewish life.

    The Judaism you are talking about is a diaspora religion, a religion that came out of our defeat at the hands of the Romans and our dispossession. Where small groups of Jews lived scattered all over the face of the earth. The diaspora is most countries is over either through mass extermination or migration. The two centers of Jewish life are America and Israel now. That religion simply doesn’t make sense anymore.

    The great Jewish wish for many centuries was for a messiah who would gather the exiles back to Zion. That’s happened. It has been fulfilled, the fulfillment is Israel. Judaism cannot exist in the form it did prior to those events. The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.

    The question then arises, American Jewish organizations who have dedicated themselves with such fervor to a strict separation of church and state seem not really to believe in separation of church and state when Jews are a majority

    I don’t think that’s true. I think most American Jews don’t like the religious structure of Israel and would like to see it reformed. Israel has an Eastern European not a western European concept of religion. The notion of religion as a personal choice and not a community is rather alien to the Eastern European frame. Americans Jews can mostly believe in the Protestant concept of religious choice while at the same time understanding that:

    a) Traditional Judaism doesn’t really support that
    b) Israelis aren’t Americans and were far less influenced by Protestant concepts

    • Donald
      April 8, 2014, 1:21 pm

      “The great Jewish wish for many centuries was for a messiah who would gather the exiles back to Zion. That’s happened. It has been fulfilled, the fulfillment is Israel. Judaism cannot exist in the form it did prior to those events. The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.”

      I’m not anti-religious. I don’t believe that religion is what you need to make a good person do bad things–any sort of ideology can do that. But when people blame religion for much of the evils of the world, they’re not altogether wrong. So when someone takes an event that occurred in the real world, that involved massacres and ethnic cleansing, and turns it into a kind of sacred religious event, you can pretty much expect more atrocities to occur. Christians, of course, have been the masters of this kind of thing–making war for the Holy Land a sacred cause which then lead to massacres of Muslims and Jews, and persecuting Jews for religious reasons, but obviously Christians don’t have any sort of patent right on this kind of behavior.

      If I were Jewish, I’d want to see my religion as the religion of the Hebrew prophets–social justice, condemning the powerful, Nathan going to King David and saying “Thou are the man” after he plotted the death of Uriah. But whatever. Make it about yet another form of stupid nationalism.

      • eljay
        April 8, 2014, 1:44 pm

        >> The great Jewish wish for many centuries was for a messiah who would gather the exiles back to Zion. That’s happened. It has been fulfilled, the fulfillment is Israel. … The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.

        So…
        – Jews (the exiles) wished for messiah (a person) to gather them together.
        – Israel is this messiah, even though Israel is a state.
        – But Israel is also a resurrection (an act).
        – The crucifixion (the Holocaust) which should have happened to the messiah (Israel, when it’s not busy being the resurrection) happened instead to Jews (the exiles).

        That’s a pretty lousy analogy to justify the existence of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

        >> Judaism cannot exist in the form it did prior to those events.

        Sure it can. You just gotta have faith. :-)

      • Shmuel
        April 8, 2014, 2:27 pm

        The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.

        I think we have a most-people-offended-in-under-10-words competition winner.

      • Philip Weiss
        April 8, 2014, 2:30 pm

        ha ha ha. That’s a high bar, Shmuel

      • JeffB
        April 8, 2014, 2:09 pm

        @Donald

        I’d want to see my religion as the religion of the Hebrew prophets–social justice, condemning the powerful, Nathan going to King David and saying “Thou are the man” after he plotted the death of Uriah. But whatever. Make it about yet another form of stupid nationalism.

        Donald, that’s the religion you do belong to. In Judaism the center of the bible is Deuteronomy. Once you take the “stupid nationalism” out and recenter on the prophets then you end up with a theology very much like Paul’s. The reason Brownfeld’s Judaism which did the same thing fits so well as just another liberal Protestantism is not accidental.

        So when someone takes an event that occurred in the real world

        One of the keys to your religion is taking events which Hellenistic Jews (and for that matter most of your epistle’s authors) believed occurred in a sort of mythical past and placing them in a real place in time and space. The early Catholics (and before them to some extent the Encratites) took the Jewish idea of a historical revelation at Sinai and expanded it to the idea of a second historical revelation in Judea in the person of a Great Angel (Son of Man) / Messiah incarnate.

        Now I’ll admit that Protestantism has been drifting in a Gnostic direction for the last two centuries and since for mot Protestant ecclesiology there is no longer a need for Jesus to have actual founded a physical church the core historical claim no longer matters. So in some sense you can say that on the Christian timeline we Zionist Jews by placing our key theological events in the 20th century are regressing. And that’s a fair criticism. But in the end, if you want a complete ahistorical faith Buddhism does a way better job than Christianity. You all still do have some historically based claims.

      • Donald
        April 8, 2014, 5:32 pm

        You were missing my point, JeffB. My point was about whether a religion is for social justice, or if it’s just another excuse for elevating one group above another and committing human rights violations.

        Now if we want to take my religion, Christianity, as an example, the fact is that one can be “liberal” in one’s theology (i.e., not take it too literally) or “conservative” (taking it literally) and be either pro-social justice or against it. Now it happens that in America people tend to associate theological conservatism with political conservatism, but there’s no necessary logical connection and it doesn’t always work that way. Liberal Protestants in Germany ended up supporting German nationalism. The somewhat more conservative Karl Barth was a critic.

      • JeffB
        April 8, 2014, 11:14 pm

        @Donald

        You were missing my point, JeffB. My point was about whether a religion is for social justice, or if it’s just another excuse for elevating one group above another and committing human rights violations.

        I don’t think most any religion is for social justice. Most have some moral content and I think most human moralities are going to end up being very similar to one another so in some sense they touch on social justice. But ultimately I think social justice is handled fine by secular philosophies and so there isn’t much value to introducing a religion if that’s all one is aiming for.

        Ultimately I think Judaism and Christianity are pretty similar in this regard. In the end sola fide and solus Christus demand that the social gospel never be the gospel even for Mainline Churches. Traditional Judaism and thus Zionism has a strong tradition of social justice but in the end it is not central.

        ____

        In any case my response was to Brownfeld who was trying to act as if Judaism should be unchanged by the reality that the messianic promise of the prophets has been fulfilled.

    • edwin
      April 8, 2014, 3:02 pm

      “The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.”

      Blood and Soil.

    • Shingo
      April 8, 2014, 5:03 pm

      The great Jewish wish for many centuries was for a messiah who would gather the exiles back to Zion. That’s happened. It has been fulfilled, the fulfillment is Israel. Judaism cannot exist in the form it did prior to those events. The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.

      A perfect example of how Zionism has distorted and corrupted Judaism. As Brownfield explain, this is text book idolatry, where Zionist Jews gave gone from worshiping God to worshiping a piece of land.

    • libra
      April 8, 2014, 6:47 pm

      The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.

      Now that’s what I call Christian Zionism.

    • thankgodimatheist
      April 8, 2014, 8:35 pm

      “I’m still a solid Zionist.”
      It shouldn’t matter if you’re a Zionist or not as long as you stand for justice and for what’s right and if don’t then your Zionism is nothing but a tribal, “my people right or wrong” and that’s despicable.

    • kalithea
      April 9, 2014, 12:24 am

      Your post is best described in the words of Sir Walter Scott: Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

      So how does the following interpretation of the core of Christian faith jive with your analogy of the Crucifixion with Holocaust and the Resurrection with Zionism?:

      The Crucifixion represents Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of mankind from sin.
      The Resurrection is the manifestation of Christ’s divine authority, fulfillment of scripture, and symbolically represents man’s triumph over sin and rebirth into a new life through faith in Christ.

      The great Jewish wish for many centuries was for a messiah who would gather the exiles back to Zion. That’s happened. It has been fulfilled, the fulfillment is Israel.

      Not so fast! Even you can’t predict the day and the hour; rather it seems to me that Zionism is merely trying to tempt fate i.e. force God’s hand.

      • JeffB
        April 9, 2014, 9:14 am

        @kalithea

        So how does the following interpretation of the core of Christian faith jive with your analogy of the Crucifixion with Holocaust and the Resurrection with Zionism?:The Crucifixion represents Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of mankind from sin.
        The Resurrection is the manifestation of Christ’s divine authority, fulfillment of scripture, and symbolically represents man’s triumph over sin and rebirth into a new life through faith in Christ.

        Exactly the rebirth is analogous to the rebirth from Israel where salvation is not from sin but from the death / slavery caused by the fall of Judea.

        Not so fast! Even you can’t predict the day and the hour; rather it seems to me that Zionism is merely trying to tempt fate i.e. force God’s hand.

        You are talking about the 2nd coming. There is no 2nd coming doctrine in Judaism. In Judaism, a messiah who doesn’t deliver isn’t the messiah. But regardless I was saying the messianic promise (national salvation, not individual salvation) had been fulfilled.

    • AbigailOK
      April 9, 2014, 6:20 pm

      Quote: “The Judaism you are talking about is a diaspora religion, a religion that came out of our defeat at the hands of the Romans and our dispossession. Where small groups of Jews lived scattered all over the face of the earth. The diaspora is most countries is over either through mass extermination or migration. The two centers of Jewish life are America and Israel now. That religion simply doesn’t make sense anymore.

      The great Jewish wish for many centuries was for a messiah who would gather the exiles back to Zion. That’s happened. It has been fulfilled, the fulfillment is Israel. Judaism cannot exist in the form it did prior to those events. The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.” End of quote

      A. For someone who pretends to know things and be Jewish – if you are a Jew at all – you either show a lot of ignorance or you are on purpose denying the Torah which would make you an apikorus.
      Also part of the hasbara these days of the allegedly Jewish state? Nothing Jewish about Israel certainly not its inception and behavior till today: exactly in contrast of all Jewish laws esp. pertaining to the laws of war, of ethics, of treatment of prisoners, of the stranger, the poor, the environment, etc. etc. But I guess you don’t know about that either, do you? Or, in your words, they make no sense.
      And with that the vast vast scriptures with or without books of endless deep, wise, open for debate sometimes, commentaries and commentaries upon commentaries which all does not start nor end with either the five books of Moses nor with the Talmud, Judaism was there long before the Romans ever were. Actually, the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 B.C. at the hands of the Romans ushered in our umptieth and last exile. Scattered us over the world (predicted literally inside the Torah but you would not know where to look that up I’m afraid) due to a.o. social injustice and sinat chinam or wanton hatred. But if I have to give you some history lessons I need five internets. So either you do your homework or at least not distort history. About the rest of the Torah I will spare you accordingly. Not the venue, is it?

      B. I will ignore the absurdity of you stating Judaism is obsolete or in your words “makes no sense” since as you state there are now two centers of Judaism or Jewish life i.e. America (I guess you mean the USA) and Israel. It is you who makes no sense here. If Judaism is obsolete why are Jewish centers not in the USA and Israel? But I guess you mean with that Congress and Hasbara central are the only focus for you in the world. As for the respective Israeli governments.
      Close minded thinking IMHO. Never mind. Take off the blinders.

      The most abject and nonsensical if not entirely not Jewish but kind of picking here from Christianity whilst insulting it by doing so in order to point out another false statement is – again showing your enormous ignorance whilst living in your own hasbara bubble – that for centuries Jews have longed for a messiah. Wrong. We pray(ed) since the last scattering and present diaspora for a return to Tzion. Meaning the building of (which will not be by human hands BTW) the third Temple after the arrival of mashiach who a. has not arrived yet and b. we know that since we know all the conditions listed in a.o. Yeshayahu XI (a chapter in the book of Nevi’im or Prophets but it is also listed in different terms in another book in Nevi’im) so as to be able for the people to recognize him and know who the real mashiach is and what will happen at that time. So that people will not fall for a false one like e.g. Shabtai Zvi or the most impudent if not laughable statement of yours: the on all accounts according to Jewish law heinously criminally acting from its inception state of Israel which is a chilul Hashem or desecration of the name of God. To equate a state entity and one acting in transgression of Jewish law(s) with mashiach is nothing more than idolatry. Someone (Ellen) in this comment section equated this with the worshipping of the Golden Calf (chet ha aigel). She is right IMHO. An Israeli author Sami Michaeli warned already for this: how will this play out with the Source of Life since we have no Moshe to pray for us and kol Yisrael averim ze al ze or every Jew is responsible for (the deeds of) the other. But I will spare you that concept.
      BTW also when the time of Mashiach who obviously has not arrived since a.o. evil be absent from this world so lots and lots of things will be different as we know life now, Judaism will still be there. Sorry pal, the state of Israel will not.

      • JeffB
        April 9, 2014, 9:01 pm

        @AbigailOK

        you either show a lot of ignorance or you are on purpose denying the Torah which would make you an apikorus.

        Abigail…. I’m an atheist. So yes I’m an apikorus.

        , Judaism was there long before the Romans ever were.

        Rabbinic Judaism was not. Jews were highly literate once they encountered the Greeks so after about 200 BCE we have a rather high quality record of the evolution of Judaism. Every single piece of evidence we have is inconsistent with Moses getting the Oral Torah from God on Sinai. I’ll let others talk Jewish myth, but if we want to talk about Rabbinic Judaism as an actual historic entity it emerged in reaction to the 3 Jewish-Roman wars and the diaspora primarily from Pharisaic Judaism. If you want to talk myths OK, I don’t have much to say. We want to talk history then we can talk about the documentary record we have.

        Actually, the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 B.C. at the hands of the Romans ushered in our umptieth and last exile.

        First off it was 29 or 30 July 70 CE not B.C. If you are going to be correcting my history you might not want to miss dates by 139 years.

        due to a.o. social injustice and sinat chinam or wanton hatred

        You could attribute it to social injustice. And certainly wanton hatred between different factions didn’t help. But the defeat was mostly due to the Judeans taking on a larger army, better trained with better equipment and better logistics. In wars most of the time the best army not the best cause wins.

        . If Judaism is obsolete why are Jewish centers not in the USA and Israel?

        I think you dropped a word or something here. I can’t parse it, sorry.

        ___

        As for the messiah who frees the world from evil and rebuilds the temple…. I think the Jews are rightfully done waiting. They’ll take the old fashioned king in the image of David who wins some battles but frees his people from the slavery of the diaspora. And David Ben-Gurion accomplished that. I think the temple is being rebuilt with the conquest of Jerusalem. I expect by 2164 there will be a temple there. In the end though, fundamentally there isn’t much to talk about religiously we just don’t share many of the same ideas.

        I like the direction Judaism is moving in and the Jewish people are moving in.

      • Shingo
        April 10, 2014, 4:44 am

        I think the Jews are rightfully done waiting.

        In other words, Jews have abandoned their faith and turned to idolatry.

        And David Ben-Gurion accomplished that.

        But he didn’t and never even claimed to. Ben-Gurion said many times that Israel would not be the solution to the Jewish problem.

        I expect by 2164 there will be a temple there.

        I expect there won’t be any Israel by 2164.

        I like the direction Judaism is moving in and the Jewish people are moving in.

        Which Jewish people and what do you mean by Judaism?

  4. pabelmont
    April 8, 2014, 1:03 pm

    This sermon nails it. Hope a few fence-sitting rabbis and others read it.

  5. hophmi
    April 8, 2014, 1:32 pm

    “What would we, as Americans, think of any religious institution in our society that flew a foreign flag in its houses of worship, that told young Americans that this is not really their homeland, that some place else is their homeland, and that the highest form of their religious expression is to immigrate to that country?”

    We would say that this is a free country, that people have the right to support the causes that they want, and that if some people feel that they want to sacrifice the comfortable life that they have here to go and build the Jewish state, more power to them.

    We might also notice that just about every synagogue that flies the Israeli flag flies the American flag, that no one questions the patriotism of Jews except antisemitic paleoconservatives and antisemitic BDS supporters, and that a religion that counts about 15 million adherents and believes its homeland is the Holy Land is a lot less scary than religions that count billions of adherents and think their mission is to convert everyone.

    “Very few American Jews are immigrating to Israel, yet their religious institutions manifest that sensibility.”

    Many orthodox Jews emigrate, and their religious institutions are the ones that promote aliyah the most.

    “If you read the Jewish press, whether the Forward or the Washington Jewish Week or local Jewish papers in Los Angeles or Cleveland, you get the feeling that you are reading the papers of an expatriate community.”

    Total nonsense. The Jewish newspapers certainly talk about Israel, but the majority of their coverage focuses on Jewish life in America.

    “Consider the hypocrisy of American Jewish organizations which have gone to court to remove voluntary school prayer from our schools, remove Christmas trees from our schools, yet support a theocracy in Israel where there is no separation of church and state. ”

    Again, total nonsense, with a whiff of Fox News-brand antisemitism. It’s no more hypocritical for a Catholic to support a separation between church and state and support the Pope in the Vatican than it is for American Jews to argue for a separation between church and state and to support a state with a Jewish majority that hardly fits the traditional definition of a theocracy. In fact, most establishment organizations are working toward creating more religious pluralism in Israel, not less.

    “In Israel itself, there is a growth of racism, there is a growth of religious extremism. The book The King’s Torah was a bestseller. This is a book that said Jews and non-Jews are basically different in nature, Jews are much closer to God than non-Jews, who are referred to as uncompassionate….”

    Yes, there is, and most American Jewish establishment organizations are fighting those ideas. I doubt that many people outside of the haredi community bought “The King’s Torah” or share its beliefs. Would you like to opine on the presence of similar texts that exist in much greater numbers in the Muslim world?

    “We understand there’s religious extremism in many parts of the world. My point is why don’t American Jews say a word about this? Not a word of criticism of the racism and extremism growing in Israel. ”

    Because you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Many Jewish organizations, most particularly the New Israel Fund, have a great deal to say about the racism and extremism in Israel, and are working to make its democracy more inclusive and vibrant.

    • yonah fredman
      April 8, 2014, 4:34 pm

      These two paragraphs show something other than common sense designed Brownfeld’s speech:

      In Israel itself, there is a growth of racism, there is a growth of religious extremism. The book The King’s Torah was a bestseller. This is a book that said Jews and non-Jews are basically different in nature, Jews are much closer to God than non-Jews, who are referred to as uncompassionate….

      We understand there’s religious extremism in many parts of the world. My point is why don’t American Jews say a word about this? Not a word of criticism of the racism and extremism growing in Israel. It has distorted Jewish values. It has distorted American Jewish life.

      Most American Jews are not aware of this. Most of those who are aware of this condemn this.

      The inclusion of this in the limited time that Brownfeld devoted to the topic shows that Brownfeld ought to retire.

    • kalithea
      April 8, 2014, 10:56 pm

      From your text:

      Total nonsense.

      Yes, that’s exactly how I’d describe your comment.

      • hophmi
        April 8, 2014, 11:12 pm

        An adult response from the ignorant kalithea.

  6. Balfour
    April 8, 2014, 1:59 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Brownfeld.

  7. Nurit Baytch
    April 8, 2014, 3:26 pm

    Brownfeld’s core claim that he represents a silent Jewish majority of American Jews who view Judaism as merely a religion is clearly contradicted by the Pew survey of Jewish Americans:
    http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-full-report-for-web.pdf
    “62% say being Jewish is mainly a matter of ancestry and culture, while just 15% say it is mainly a matter of religion.” 23% say it’s all 3.

    Furthermore, it is clear from the survey that almost all American Jews are Zionists (i.e. support Israel’s right to exist as the Jewish state/homeland). 85% of American Jews think that US support for Israel is about right or insufficient, while only 11% of American Jews that the US is too supportive of Israel. The latter group likely includes anti-AIPAC Zionists like MJ Rosenberg, so even among that 11%, one would probably find many Zionists.

    It’s true that fewer American Jews identified as Zionists prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. That is largely b/c of rampant anti-Semitism at the time; American Jews feared that that their allegiance to the US would be questioned if Israel came to be. Such fears dissipated as American anti-Semitism has declined.

    • Ellen
      April 8, 2014, 4:00 pm

      Sad attempt at distorting and mis representing Brownfeld’s talk and then reducing it to pinning a “core claim” onto him (one he never made) and then using poll numbers as if such whipped up statistics substantiate some kind of truth. (Polls measure the past.)

      The children and grandchildren of today’s Zionists will move beyond tribalism and reject their parent’s enterprise and idolatry. They may return to true Torah. Mr. Brownfeld, like others, see this future.

      • Nurit Baytch
        April 8, 2014, 4:40 pm

        Brownfeld explicitly claimed that “I believe that the position I represent represents a silent majority of American Jews.” It doesn’t. Only 15% of American Jews view being Jewish as mainly a matter of religion; in addition, almost all American Jews are Zionists.

        And here’s a recent poll of European Jews:
        http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2013-discrimination-hate-crime-against-jews-eu-member-states_en.pdf
        43% of European Jews even consider it anti-Semitic to assert that Jews are only a religious group and not a nation!

        91% regard it as anti-Semitic to claim that Jews have too much power in their country.

        81% consider the following statement anti-Semitic: Israelis behave “like Nazis” towards the Palestinians.

      • RoHa
        April 10, 2014, 6:00 am

        “43% of European Jews even consider it anti-Semitic to assert that Jews are only a religious group and not a nation!”

        But what do they mean by “a nation”?

        And what percentage would agree with “Jews are only concerned with whether a statement is anti-Semitic. They are not interested in whether it is true”?

    • puppies
      April 8, 2014, 5:38 pm

      @Baytch – Of course it is “merely” a religion. Except if you want to argue that Jews are a race (you know who last argued that…) Or present solid proof of anything other than religion in common between so-called “Jews” –or admit that you are racist.
      And keep your nonsense polls. The fact that more morons believe one thing doesn’t make it more real.

      • JeffB
        April 8, 2014, 11:04 pm

        @puppies

        Brownfield’s claim was what Jews believe not what you believe. It doesn’t matter what you think is objectively true about the nature of Judaism. The point is debate is a question of polling.

      • Nurit Baytch
        April 9, 2014, 5:31 am

        puppies, how “progressive” of you to tell most Jews they are wrong about their self-identification! And thanks for letting me know I’m not actually Jewish. It really should give you pause that 43% of European Jews actually regard your claim as anti-Semitic. While that’s not a majority opinion (such as regarding as anti-Semitic the Israeli-Nazi analogies so popular at Mondoweiss), it demonstrates how strongly most Jews identify as a nation.

        And Ashkenazi Jews are indeed an ethnic group, closely related to Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC18733/pdf/pq006769.pdf
        see figure on p. 6772

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 9, 2014, 10:14 am

        “how “progressive” of you to tell most Jews they are wrong about their self-identification! ”

        Be sure to remember this principle when one on your side claims that the Palestinians are an invented people or only thought of themselves as a people since 1965 or who wish to delegitimize those who self identify as refugees, etc.

      • Nurit Baytch
        April 9, 2014, 10:06 pm

        Woody, I reject claims that Palestinians are an “invented people” and agree with what Hussein Ibish had to say about this matter here:
        http://ibishblog.com/2009/05/29/denying_history_unacceptable_both_peoples/

        However, I don’t think it’s generally the case that liberal/progressive Zionists make such arguments about Palestinians.

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 2:41 pm

        @Baytch – some logic.
        1. Ashkenazis are certainly an ethnic group. As also Sefardis, Bukharis, Romaniotes, Transteverines, etc. Who said different? How would that make it “Jewish”?
        2, Interpreting population genetics and their statistics to the point of being able to draw inferences from it takes many years of specialized training and no data warrants your stupid conclusion. That paper only draws conclusions about some regional shared haplotypes, while a wider consideration of all existing comparisons will give you a general picture in which there is no way to construct tighter groups. Also, that particular paper was largely rejected for starting with a complete fiction of “diaspora” as if it were a fact. This is the equivalent, in our day, of the skull measurement data that were used for Rosenberg’s Nazi racial theories, in which you are trying to play the Rosenberg but without even his minimal understanding. I would recommend that you get advice from someone with a more solid scientific background before deciding on your own and making such a sorry show of yourself.

      • Nurit Baytch
        April 9, 2014, 10:01 pm

        puppies, which conclusion of mine is “stupid”? Please cite peer-reviewed studies in prestigious journals that “reject” the PNAS paper I cited. btw, I have an MS in physics from MIT.

        Also, are these geneticists stupid and lacking a solid scientific background?
        http://bhusers.upf.edu/dcomas/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Behar2010.pdf

        Our PCA, ADMIXTURE and ASD analyses, which are based on genome-wide data from a large sample of Jewish communities, their non-Jewish host populations, and novel samples from the Middle East, are concordant in revealing a close relationship between most contemporary Jews and non-Jewish populations from the Levant. The most parsimonious explanation for these observations is a common genetic origin, which is consistent with an historical formulation of the Jewish people as descending from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant. This inference underscores the significant genetic continuity that exists among most Jewish communities and contemporary non-Jewish Levantine populations

      • puppies
        April 12, 2014, 11:35 pm

        @Baytch –
        4/9/14
        Essentially, this 15-year-old compilation of Y-chromosome-related haplotypes has been superseded by a lot of work of much wider extent; subject sampling is ridiculously inadequate for the range of variation, vagueness, number of factors, etc., what it shows is not, when you read the statistical factoring (with all its defects, shown later) a “mapping” that places the Ashkenazi in a particularly close situation to the “area peoples” (as it places it closest to Turkish subjects who, if we were to accept the racist theories that lie at the basid of the starting hypothesis, would then be unwatered-down as accepted by the authors for all other subjects, would only reinforce the Khazarian hypothesis –how do you like that? The fact that they are starting with a petitio principii on several counts had disqualified the whole comedy at the start (positing as a fact a “diaspora” as the working hypothesis disqualifies it anyway; throwing away the incredibly intense mixing of Near-East populations with Europeans, Turkic peoples etc. from the start; accepting a “time-depth” estimate that is even less supported, if anything, from the Swadesh language time-depths, and many more such starting hypotheses taken as established where they should have been the object of demonstration by the data…) Anyway now it is no more than an obsolete fossil of racial theory building. And no, I am not wasting anymore time talking to you… this is a general guideline for honest readers who may want to research. While they are at it, let them also compare it to Rosenberg and his cranial measurement nonsense leading to the German-Aryan (and the Turanic-Turcic) theories: same methods.

      • Shingo
        April 10, 2014, 4:52 am

        I have an MS in physics from MIT.

        So how is that going to help you with regards to genetics?

        see figure on p. 6772

        The summary below sugegsts that the connection you are having your hat on is somewhat irrelevant given that the various chromosome haplotypes were common in non Jews throughout a vast area.

      • Nurit Baytch
        April 10, 2014, 11:41 pm

        Shingo, puppies made a derisive remark about my scientific background, not my background in genetics. Furthermore, that graph lends credence to my assertion that Ashkenazi Jews are closely related to Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews.

        RoHa, most Jews regard ourselves as a people/nation, much as many Italian-Americans regard themselves as ethnically Italian and express pride in their ethnic/cultural heritage. For example, Italian-American figure skater Marissa Castelli can say “I am 100-percent Italian and proud” without having her loyalty to the US questioned. I hope that neither Italian-Australians nor Jewish Australians are banned from being MPs in the Australian Parliament.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2014, 6:43 pm

        Shingo, puppies made a derisive remark about my scientific background, not my background in genetics.

        Fair enough.

        Furthermore, that graph lends credence to my assertion that Ashkenazi Jews are closely related to Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews.

        But the subsequent conclusion is that this is not a correlation only shared by Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews

        RoHa, most Jews regard ourselves as a people/nation, much as many Italian-Americans regard themselves as ethnically Italian and express pride in their ethnic/cultural heritage.

        They are of course, entitled to believe what they want, no matter how absurd.

        For example, Italian-American figure skater Marissa Castelli can say “I am 100-percent Italian and proud” without having her loyalty to the US questioned.

        Does she also say that America is not her home and that Italy is her homeland?

        I hope that neither Italian-Australians nor Jewish Australians are banned from being MPs in the Australian Parliament

        I am confident that will never happen. Were it to happen, I’d be fighting it and failing that, I will be moving to another country.

      • RoHa
        April 10, 2014, 6:05 am

        Thanks, Nurit. When all Jews are banned from being MPs in the Australian Federal Parliament on the grounds that they are not solely of Australian nationality, we can be sure that 43% of European Jews will not complain.

    • kalithea
      April 8, 2014, 8:31 pm

      Ellen and puppies: I regret to admit that N. Baytch’s facts speak for themselves. Let’s stop deluding ourselves please. Even when the truth sucks we cannot discard or deny it. We should not stoop to the denial that Zionists stoop to.

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 2:42 pm

        @kallithea – Facts my a$$! If you’ll pardon my French, of course.

    • Nurit Baytch
      April 11, 2014, 8:33 pm

      I just wanted to add that my first sentence is worded terribly and should say: “Brownfeld’s core claim that he represents a silent majority of American Jews who view being Jewish as merely a matter of religion is clearly contradicted by the Pew survey of Jewish Americans.”

  8. Ellen
    April 8, 2014, 3:51 pm

    ..a form of idolatry, making the sovereign state of Israel the object of worship, rather than God.

    In other words, the Golden Calf.

    Thank you Mr. Brownfeld.

  9. seafoid
    April 8, 2014, 4:40 pm

    “Zionism has distorted American Jewish life”
    Very mild

    Zionism has in fact beaten American Jewish life over the head with a hammer.

  10. Les
    April 8, 2014, 8:38 pm

    Add this from Ha’aretz,

    A Special Place in Hell
    by Bradley Burston
    Sorry, Children of Israel. No Exodus for you.
    What if the rabbis urging a ban on dovish Jews in New York’s upcoming 5th Ave. Celebrate Israel parade had been in charge of the Exodus from Egypt? Many of us Hebrew slaves would have been turned away. That’s the rabbis’ message: If you don’t support settlements, no Israel for you.
    By Bradley Burston | 20:33 08.04.14

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/.premium-1.584547

  11. JeffB
    April 10, 2014, 9:44 am

    @eljay

    JeffB: That’s pretty much how every single state in today’s world arose.

    Really? Could you tell me where I can find:
    – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Women State”?
    – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Homosexual State”?
    – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Roma State”?
    – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Dalit State”?

    There are no women only, homosexual, Romany or Dalit’s states so that’s not contradicting what I said. Homosexuals, Dalit and women aren’t nations. The only nation is the Romany for example are mostly a mixture of Bulgarian and Indian. A Bulgarian state exists for Bulgarians and an Indian state exists for Indians. Had Bulgaria been weaker in the 10th century mostly likely today there would be a Romani state there. But Bulgaria wasn’t weak so the mass migration occurred but no country formed.

    As for the today I think there should be a Romany homeland if they want. I’m thrilled that Oregon is offering them a place of safety and integration and so far they are satisfied. Others are less satisified and seem to be heading to Brazil which offers opportunities for a more traditional lifestyle. But if they weren’t satisfied, I think they have every right to form work towards a homeland and if needed from there a state. But that’s up to them.

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