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The crisis of the American Jewish community

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It is a commonplace among Jews to say that Zionism faces a crisis, what with 50 years of Israeli occupation. But the more important development is the crisis of the American Jewish community. What defines that community? Who feels themselves to be a member? In fact there is no center today in the Jewish community, the community is fracturing, and nothing this exciting has happened in more than a generation, because it will transform American politics.

The crisis of course involves Israel. The two sides are represented by two comments at a forum a week ago on How to talk about Israel at the secular Birmingham Temple outside Detroit.

Howard Lupovitch has many cousins in Israel. A professor of Judaic studies at Wayne State University, he said at the forum that American Jews have the “luxury” of living far away from Hamas. “Jews have an obligation to criticize the state, but this criticism has to be constructive.” He appeared to question the existence of “the occupation,” and said Jews must “engage the gray” of what Israel is, rather than take extreme positions. “The goal is to be a Zionist and a critic of the state simultaneously.”

Sam Molnar

Sam Molnar

Sam Molnar is a graduate student in environmental information at the University of Michigan and he also has cousins over there. He described an important moment in his life. He was visiting his uncle in the settlement of Neve Daniel two years ago when his ten-year-old cousin said that the family would soon be moving to an outpost on a nearby hillside “because if we don’t move there the Arabs will.” Molnar told her, “I work with Arabs, I live in the same building as Arabs, I party with Arabs.” She looked at him in disbelief. On her neck was a necklace with a Jewish star and a bullet.

Lupovitch and Molnar’s definitions of community are irreconcilable. Molnar has rejected his cousin’s community. He is part of Jewish Voice for Peace, which has called for boycotting Israel because of the intolerance and militarism he witnessed in his own family. Lupovitch opposes boycott and would call on Molnar to air his differences at the temple and then stand with the Jewish community supporting his cousins in uniform over there.

Lupovitch’s idea of Jewish community has been intact for more than 100 years. It is based on the understanding of an insular American Jewish community that cannot fully trust the wider society and that must stand together as Zionists because Jews need a Jewish state and that Jewish state requires American political support.

Molnar’s idea of community is more diverse, and is not strictly Jewish. He says Jews will only be liberated when Palestinians are liberated; so he expresses greater kinship with some Palestinians than he does with most other Jews.

He will stand with a diverse community to boycott Israel, Lupovitch will oppose him.

A few years ago, Molnar’s position was a fringe position; and the Jewish community could say that it was united and had a center; and for two or three generations that center was support for Israel. Americans for Peace Now stayed on the board of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations even though that body supported the settlements that Peace Now was opposing, because Peace Now saw a greater need for Jewish political cohesion in the United States than it did to oppose settlements. Peace Now, and Lupovitch, apparently regard the Jewish community as a small minority community that needs to speak with one voice to be heard at all.

These days of unity are ending. The middle is the most tortuous ground, which is why liberal Zionists are having a crisis. A “Jewish Walk for Israel” in Detroit led by the largest Jewish organizations refused to allow Americans for Peace Now and Partners for a Progressive Israel (a Meretz-aligned group) to appear with them this year on the false ground that they support BDS, according to Jeffrey Falick, the rabbi of the Birmingham temple. And J Street was rudely rejected as a member by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, because it can be critical of Israel.

But non-Zionists are not tortured or in crisis. Jewish Voice for Peace doesn’t want to be in the Walk for Israel, or in the Conference of Presidents. And it would seem to be growing faster than all other Jewish organizations. It is appealing to the young people of Open Hillel, who are breaking away from Hillel International rather than accept its rules against talking about BDS.

JVP has a broad definition of American community, one in which Palestinians help lead us out of the conflict. It sees this as the only way forward. And leading Jewish organizations refuse to debate JVP or acknowledge its existence. For now anyway!

Nostalgists would like to believe that the Jewish community can be put back together. President Obama addressed Adas Israel in Washington the other day and said that Jewish values of making the desert bloom were the same as the civil rights values that had inspired him as a young man. This is rhetoric of a glorious past, designed to win the oldline Jewish community to support the Iran deal. Obama has to know that today’s Israeli regime is completely inconsistent with the values of the civil rights movement.

Falick also seems to think he can unite the Jewish community. He said last week that Jews are capable of talking these issues out, and when he learned that the Zionist Organization of America was in the house that night promptly invited a young PhD candidate named Jonathan on to the panel to give it diversity, and said the ZOA was welcome at any temple event on Israel going forward. It was a nice stunt theatrically, but politically it was meaningless. As my friend Tova Perlmutter of Jewish Voice for Peace made clear in a patient dialogue with Jonathan that night, he is a religious fundamentalist who gives weight to the 613 commandments of Rambam which Perlmutter’s grandparents rejected in Eastern Europe. And he believes that Jews owe something to their tribe, above the call for justice, tikkun olam. Perlmutter is for BDS and Jonathan says that Jews must be opposed to BDS. Two people with such profound differences cannot be in the same community; though I hope Perlmutter continues to debate him, she is a soulful person with a very wide definition of community and exposes Jonathan’s worldview as narrow.

There is a reason that criticisms that were once contained by the Jewish community are now openly dividing it. America. Molnar cited the Yiddish word doykkeit, meaning hereness. American Jews are comfortable here and project our futures in this society. Our principal community is fellow Americans. We are privileged, not persecuted, and our experience causes many of us to take exception to Israel’s persecution of Palestinians. We don’t want to work inside the Jewish community, because that community proved itself incapable of criticizing the occupation.

These differing ideas of political community have far reaching implications. As the scholar and author Ron Aronson said that night at the Birmingham Temple, this process can’t be undone. The Jewish community will divide more and more clearly in the next year or so between Zionist Jews and non-Zionist ones. This open division will license politicians who depend on Jews (as donors, or as voters in blue states, or as an opinion-forming elite inside the Democratic Party) to divide themselves. The next election season will feature open debate about the special relationship, mark my words.

The American Jewish population is coming of age. It is an American group with American values first and ever greater distance from the Jewish state. Some large segment of the Jewish community that has long been at the center of the community will never abandon the Jewish state. Fine; let the community split, and the debate begin.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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49 Responses

  1. broadside
    May 25, 2015, 1:22 pm

    “Fine; let the community split, and the debate begin.”

    I don’t care about any debate the American Jewish community is having or not having. It is too slight, and overdue, to give a damn.

    Boycott. Divest. Sanction.

    • Krauss
      May 25, 2015, 3:51 pm

      You should. Obama’s neo-colonialist rhetoric(“making the desert bloom”), his endless pandering and frankly his betrayal of the Palestinians is all about chasing Jewish money.

      That understanding is based on what Phil outlined: that the Jewish community is cohesive. That’s the Jewish community Obama grew up to understand. That community is now splintering.

      Your larger point is of course correct: people shouldn’t have to wait for Jewish approval to go for BDS or not. Even if the Jewish community was uniformly against that should not matter: only moral principle should matter.

      But there’s a thing called practical politics and regardless of the moral dimension, a splintering among Jews will push the process further along as fewer and fewer Jews, especially young Jews, are willing to base their identity on a state whose raison d’être is Jewish apartheid. It’s not even possible to deny it anymore.

      • just
        May 25, 2015, 4:31 pm

        Good comment, Krauss. Thank you.

        Kate linked to a great article today that’s not entirely off- topic for this thread:

        “Why won’t Israeli peace groups talk about the Nakba? / Tom Mehager Haokets 23 May — It’s 2015 and Israeli peace groups still refuse to talk about the mass dispossession of Palestinians in 1948, including those who became Israeli citizens. Tom Mehager says it is time for a real conversation about the right of return” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/leave-between-palestinian#sthash.v4KfyxJM.dpuf

  2. a blah chick
    May 25, 2015, 1:29 pm

    “On her neck was a necklace with a Jewish star and a bullet.”

    ‘Nuff said.

    • just
      May 25, 2015, 2:20 pm

      ““On her neck was a necklace with a Jewish star and a bullet.”

      ‘Nuff said.”

      Well said, abc.

      Bornajoo has written about personal experience with family in Israel~ as early as this morning, Phil. Many others have also written about it.

      If there’s is a crisis, it’s that not enough of the American Jewish community will open their eyes to the consequences of placing apartheid, fascist, nuclear- armed Israel above all else in their minds and motivations. I am sure that there have always been those that have not, but with today’s rapidly moving internet and information, it becomes curiouser and curiouser that many are still holding fast to their impossibly naive ideas about Israel as being the best and the brightest.

  3. Walker
    May 25, 2015, 2:22 pm

    The Jewish community will divide more and more clearly in the next year or so between Zionist Jews and non-Zionist ones. This open division will license politicians who depend on Jews (as donors, or as voters in blue states, or as an opinion-forming elite inside the Democratic Party) to divide themselves.

    Phil, this would be more believable if we had evidence of major Jewish donors who truly support justice, as opposed to mere Liberal Zionists who dislike Netanyahu but oppose placing serious pressure on Israel. That would be a worthy subject for a thread.

    • Scott
      May 26, 2015, 6:26 am

      There probably are, we just don’t know their names because they keep quiet about it.

  4. David Doppler
    May 25, 2015, 2:25 pm

    Off topic, see Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com on the split within the Israeli government over whether or how to cut a deal to allow the US to bribe it with military equipment to acquiesce in the Iran deal.

    http://news.antiwar.com/2015/05/24/us-eager-to-placate-but-israeli-govt-split-on-terms/

    Question: is there any dealmaking with right-wing hardliners? Or is it just a question of whether you will acquiesce fully in their leadership, falling unquestioningly in line and in step, or else become their mortal enemy?

    • just
      May 25, 2015, 2:40 pm

      From your link:

      “US State Department officials have expressed puzzlement about Israel’s hesitance in naming a price, but it likely that this split will continue for awhile until Israel issues actual demands.”

      Seems to me that the US has always continued to ply Israel with weapons/means to deliver the weapons. From Kate’s list today:

      “My big fat Israeli arsenal / Uri Misgav Haaretz 23 May — It warms the heart to hear of the Pentagon’s “compensation deal” with Israel in exchange for the agreement with Iran. The deal consists of 8,000 smart bombs, 14,500 smart bomb guidance systems, 50 bunker busters, 4,100 “small” bombs (only 110 kilograms of explosives) and 3,000 Hellfire missiles for the Apache helicopters. The overall cost is $1.8 billion. This does not include separate deals for another 3,000 bomb guidance kits and enlarging the F-35 stealth bomber fleet. What is all this armament intended for and where? To ensure an Israeli attack in Iran, immediately after the powers sign an international agreement with it? Perhaps just to replenish stockpiles after the last war rampage in Gaza, which broke all the Israel Defense Forces’ records in ammunition use? The Pentagon announced that these deals reflect the “American commitment to Israel’s security.” Funny thing, the pace of armament keeps increasing, yet I don’t feel any safer over the years. History has proved that reckless armament doesn’t lead to security. It leads mainly to wars. Since 2006, when Israel began to base its warfare almost exclusively on fire power and pounding from the air, we’ve had one war in Lebanon and three in Gaza. Four wars in less than a decade. That’s why it appears to me that these deals reflect mainly the American commitment to the American arms industries. One suspects that Israel is indeed “the American aircraft carrier in the Middle East.” But not as a metaphor or a simile — a real aircraft carrier. An enormous arsenal. An impenetrable bunker whose scope is impossible to discuss, not to mention its very existence. According to this bitter logic, the Americans won’t help us end the conflict, at the most they’ll help us manage the flames. The conflict produces just too many jobs for them and their politicians.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/leave-between-palestinian#sthash.TNVkZvpM.dpuf

      Germany recently “rewarded” Israel, as well.

      • Citizen
        May 25, 2015, 5:58 pm

        Yep, nothing’s changed, nor will it, listening to the POTUS candidates. The three unchangeable factors: Weapons industry; the Milltary -industrial-security complex Ike warned about to no avail, Israel First politics, (Washington warned us about generically) the domain of really big, single focus special interest money, main media ‘s complicity.

      • just
        May 25, 2015, 6:50 pm

        Speaking of a real crisis, this is a must- see video interview with Dan Cohen on ‘The Real News’:

        “Not a Single House Has Been Rebuilt One Year After Israeli War on Gaza”

        http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=13906

        Transcript available at link includes this:

        …”PERIES: And yet despite criticism of the world, the United States is providing $1.8 billion in a deal to Israel. No one, absolutely no one seems to care about what’s happening to the people on the ground. What do you make of this?

        COHEN: Yeah. This massive arms deal comes as Israel’s most right-wing government in history has just been elected. And this is, this is a really disturbing precedent, as the weapons that President Obama has just given Israel were used in, to target–specifically to target civilians last summer. The bunker-busters, which Israel just received 750 of, which were designed for Iraq to take out underground facilities, were used last summer to destroy residential and commercial towers that have no military value. Very similar to the tower that I’m in right now. Last summer on the final night of the ceasefire, after the terms of the ceasefire had been agreed to, is when Israel decided to start taking out landmark towers in Gaza with the bunker-busters, just like–American-provided bunker-busters like they have received once again.

        So everyone in Gaza, everyone in Israel knows it’s just a matter of time until we see it happen again, and it’s a disturbing thought to think that the tower I’m in is a potential target and could be a smoldering pile of rubble with hundreds of people homeless just like last summer.”…

  5. eljay
    May 25, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Howard Lupovitch: “ … Jews have an obligation to criticize the state, but this criticism has to be constructive.” He appeared to question the existence of “the occupation,” and said Jews must “engage the gray” of what Israel is, rather than take extreme positions. “The goal is to be a Zionist and a critic of the state simultaneously.”

    People have an obligation to criticize the rapist, but the criticism has to be constructive. (E.g.: He should bathe more often. He should lengthen his victims’ chains a bit.) Criticize the rapist, yes, but “engage the gray” and do not take extreme positions. The goal is to be in favour of the rapist and to be a critic of the rapist simultaneously.

    Mr. Lupovitch is a hateful and immoral person.

    • michelle
      May 25, 2015, 4:33 pm

      .
      something like arresting the illegal immigrant workers
      without first
      making sure that they were paid in full for their work
      (according to that countries standards for all workers)
      arresting those who hired and exploited their illegal status
      charging any and all who profited off the exploitation of these people
      (seems like a good fee would be double projected profits from the labor and all deportation expenses)
      after all crime shouldn’t pay/profit
      if these employees truly want the services of ‘that particular person(s)’
      they should make the effort to make it above board/legal

      .
      if i see one more movie that depicts the employer as a good unselfish honest person ….

      .
      G-d Bless
      .

  6. eGuard
    May 25, 2015, 3:26 pm

    How great and generous the the Jewish community finally, finally wants to discuss the Israel question. A lot of victims are anxious to heard what the outcome is. (Can you hurry on? They are waiting quite some time already).

    Or, better take the topic of Zionism away from that “Jewish community” right away. Ever since Book One, Zionism was at the cost of others without those others.

  7. Kay24
    May 25, 2015, 4:31 pm

    Again Bibi sends message to the world. He appoints Dore Gold anti 2SS to the Foreign Ministry.
    Is the US government so naive, that they cannot get that message? There is absolutely no hope for a 2SS, and the US is simply playing games pretending to believe there is hope. The usual good cop/bad cop routine is lame now.

    “Dore Gold, who was appointed Monday as the director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, is considered to have relatively hawkish views on the Palestinian issue and has never publicly voiced support for the two-state solution, the establishment of a Palestinian state or Netanyahu’s 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University, in which the prime minister came out in favor of the two-state solution.

    Gold also dealt extensively with the issues of defensible borders and security arrangements under any deal with the Palestinians as the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs think tank.

    But in recent years Gold has been most vocal in his column in Israel Hayom, the Sheldon Adelson-owned daily newspaper known for its support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    His most recent columns have been critical of the talks between Iran and the West over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. In a column published last month Gold wrote that “there has been a whole school of thought in Washington that firmly believed that the U.S. was the main source of Middle Eastern tensions and not Iran.” In a column a month before, Gold cautioned that “Iran is clearly exploiting its nuclear talks with the West to establish its hegemonic position and erect a new regional order from Yemen to Kurdistan.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.658012

  8. Keith
    May 25, 2015, 5:50 pm

    PHIL- “The Jewish community will divide more and more clearly in the next year or so between Zionist Jews and non-Zionist ones.”

    And if it does, it is the Zionists who will have the preponderance of money, organization and power.

  9. Shingo
    May 25, 2015, 5:59 pm

    A professor of Judaic studies at Wayne State University, he said at the forum that American Jews have the “luxury” of living far away from Hamas.

    Another Israeli supporter who admits Israel is less safe for Jews than the diaspora.

  10. michelle
    May 25, 2015, 6:33 pm

    .
    so i heard there were these test monkeys
    that were fed and cared for according to the
    base need of each individual monkey
    they (monkeys and keepers) were all very happy and thriving
    a few of the monkeys tested better then the rest
    so the keepers gave them more food care space attention
    all taken from the other monkeys rations
    the other monkeys became sickly and despondent
    all the test scores dropped
    the keepers and the monkeys became unsettled
    unbalanced fighting biting hitting hurting each other
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  11. hophmi
    May 25, 2015, 10:42 pm

    As usual, there’s a central paradox in your analysis, JVP Jews by and large are just leftists who happen to be Jewish, and they are not the future of the Jewish community. They are radical assimilationists who, as every analysis shows, will by and large not perpetuate Judaism in any meaningful way in the next generation or two. So they don’t matter in the long run.

    • just
      May 26, 2015, 12:00 am

      Thank the heavens above that you are not judge and jury for the Jewish people nor for Judaism, hophmi.

      You wrote, “So they don’t matter in the long run.”

      Good luck with that. JVP is growing everyday. More and more people are finding the truth about Israel and Zionism as separate from Judaism. You’ve only managed to demonstrate your own instability.

      • Mooser
        May 26, 2015, 11:05 am

        You wrote, “So they don’t matter in the long run.”

        I’ve got it! Hophmi’s real name is Methuselah! He plans to outlive all those JVP kids by several centuries at least. Time is on his side.

    • oldgeezer
      May 26, 2015, 12:07 am

      Yes trying to coexist with others is radical. Luckily history shows that people like you and David Duke are the ones who end up being irrelevant and sidelined. And no, there isn’t a measurable difference between you and him.

    • echinococcus
      May 26, 2015, 12:09 am

      Hophmi’s regurgitations are a gold mine. No comment needed in general but this one is sheer beauty. It’s as if someone had peeled back the skin and taken away a piece of skull to expose the inside of what tribals call “mind”. So screw the people, screw their welfare and dignity and right to life, all he is worried about is not to perpetuate human beings in good shape but “perpetuate Judaism”. I mean, can you imagine sicker than that?

      • Mooser
        May 26, 2015, 10:52 am

        ” I mean, can you imagine sicker than that?”

        Why, yes, I can. What’s even sicker is Hophmi’s idea that a guy who is ashamed of his own name is going to have a big hand in the Jewish future, for one thing.
        And the idea that Judaism is going to turn itself over to a Hophmi to design its future, is pretty twisted, too.

      • echinococcus
        May 27, 2015, 1:37 am

        Mooser! I hereby chide you severely for your lack of Judaic respect. It has turned itself to way, way more experienced hands to design not only its future but remodel and refurnish its entire past, too. It won’t let itself be influenced by a mere Hophmi, believe me.

      • Mooser
        May 27, 2015, 11:21 am

        “I hereby chide you severely for your lack of Judaic respect.”

        I’ve always been a Litvak. Can’t help it.
        If it’s any discomfort to you, it is almost certain I would be just as disrespectful to any religion I happened to be. I’m sure I would make no distinctions in that respect.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 26, 2015, 2:02 am

      JVP Jews by and large are just leftists who happen to be Jewish, and they are not the future of the Jewish community. They are radical assimilationists who, as every analysis shows, will by and large not perpetuate Judaism in any meaningful way in the next generation or two. So they don’t matter in the long run. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/crisis-american-community/comment-page-1#comment-770316

      jews like hophmi by and large just happen to be Jewish, and they are not the future of the Jewish community. They are radical zionists who, as every analysis shows, will by and large not perpetuate Judaism in any meaningful way in the next generation or two. So they don’t matter in the long run.

      speaking of perpetuating Judaism in any meaningful way.. did you read this comment of mine from earlier today? http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/injustice-washington-synagogue#comment-770067

      they were jvp jews. youths. inevitably, this is the future of judaism. not zionism.

    • bryan
      May 26, 2015, 2:56 am

      hophmi: “As usual, there’s a central paradox in your analysis” and that is your inability to distinguish between Jewishness, a wonderfully indeterminate, diverse and often universalist outlook upon the world, and Zionism, a narrow intolerant particularist ideology. Your categorization of worthy first-class Jews, entirely dedicated to the furtherance of Israeli ethnocracy, and treacherous second-class Jews who are not Israel-firsters and may even marry outside their community is on a par with Ben Gurion’s dismissal of those Jews who had not committed to make aliyah as “mere human dust”.

    • justicewillprevail
      May 26, 2015, 6:35 am

      Keep up the racial purity meme for your version of Judaism, hoppy. Everyone else is a ‘leftist’, ‘radical’ or just a slacker, so they don’t count and won’t perpetuate the gene pool which must be kept pure and clean for all of you true believers/ suckers.

    • Giles
      May 26, 2015, 7:21 am

      the hophmi model: pontificate, bloviate, label, label, whine, and reach wishful but unsupportable self serving conclusion.

      • Mooser
        May 26, 2015, 10:41 am

        Gee, without significant, government imposed anti-semitism, an entire cohort of Jews who fancy themselves as intermediaries between Jews and others will be out of a job.

        BTW, the people who Hophmi says “will by and large not perpetuate Judaism in any meaningful way” are about oh, a good 75% to 90% of the Jews now alive.

        Has anybody else ever seen a religion so eager to reduce its own numbers? Oh well, Holy Land, they’re not making any more of it. The less Jews there are, the more Holy Land for each Jew.

      • RoHa
        May 26, 2015, 7:32 pm

        “Oh well, Holy Land, they’re not making any more of it. ”

        Not so fast. What about the artificial island idea? If the island is built by Holy Landers off the coast of the Holy Land wouldn’t that be Holy? Would it have to be within Holy Territorial Waters, or can it be beyond them? Would it have to be built with Holy Material from Holy Land? (I’m sure Saudi Arabia would happily contribute some Holy Builder’s Rubble from the Makkah-Madinah part of the Hejaz. Lindisfarne is too small to contribute.)

        Or can ordinary building material be made Holy by blessing it, the way Holy Water is made Holy? Slip an Irish priest couple of quid and a bottle of Jamesons and he’ll happily do the job.

        “The less Jews there are, the more Holy Land for each Jew. ”

        [Ahem!] ” The fewer Jews there are …”, if you please. Or even if you don’t.

        As far as I am concerned, the more Holy Land for everyone, the better.

        Or am I thinking of Holy Ground?
        http://www.oldsaltblog.com/2008/10/the-holy-ground-songs-sailors-and-women-of-easy-virtue/

      • Mooser
        May 27, 2015, 11:24 am

        “Or am I thinking of Holy Ground?”

        Perhaps you are thinking of the whole cloth out of which computers are woven. You know, the Shroud of Turing.

    • eljay
      May 26, 2015, 8:04 am

      || hophmi: … JVP Jews by and large are just leftists who happen to be Jewish … They … will by and large not perpetuate Judaism … ||

      Judaism is a religion and – as you have repeatedly pointed out – Jewish is about more than just religion: It is a tribe, a collective, an ethnicity, a culture, a people, a nation and a civilization.

      Therefore, given that JVP Jews are Jewish, they will continue to perpetuate Jewish.

      Or are you now (again) suggesting that Jewish is fundamentally a religious identity?

    • Mooser
      May 26, 2015, 11:00 am

      “JVP Jews by and large are just leftists who happen to be Jewish,”

      Olde Yiddish folk-song, loosely translated:

      “Oh, how ya’ gonna keep ’em,
      Down at the Schul,
      After they join JVP?

      How ya’ gonna keep ’em
      Away from the tref?
      Or going off and marrying
      some cute Gentile waif?

    • SQ Debris
      May 26, 2015, 1:59 pm

      Hop is right. JVP Jews “happen to be Jewish.” Just like all Jews, just like all red heads. That’s one of the things that makes political zionism so .. entertaining. The only way you can really buy in is to accept the Nazi proposition that genetic connection to a specif group (Jews or Gypsies in their case) indicates anything about an individual’s identity and value as a human being. Heredity certainly does not come with an obligation to support a genocidal ideology. My money is on the long term survival of a Jewish culture that excludes theft, murder, and oppression from the definition of “healing the world.”

    • Boo
      May 26, 2015, 4:19 pm

      “JVP Jews by and large are just leftists who happen to be Jewish, and they are not the future of the Jewish community. They are radical assimilationists”

      [citation needed]

    • DaBakr
      May 26, 2015, 8:57 pm

      @hp

      Jews are even a minority in JVP. Let the people have their fantasies as their already so far out in left field they think the ‘tide is turning’ [again-as it has been for them for over 60yrs]

  12. RoHa
    May 26, 2015, 1:02 am

    “JVP Jews by and large are just leftists who happen to be Jewish, and they are not the future of the Jewish community. They are radical assimilationists who, as every analysis shows, will by and large not perpetuate Judaism in any meaningful way in the next generation or two.”

    Do you mean that they will not influence many other Jews, and always be a minority, or that by not perpetuating Judaism they and their successors will cease to be Jews?

    If the JVP Jews influence a sufficiently large number of Jews, and this influence passes on from generation to generation, then more and more Jews will become ex-Jews, and leave no Jewish offspring. This will lead to a notable reduction in the number of Jews in the American Jewish community, and that reduction will be part of the “future of the Jewish community”.

    ” So they don’t matter in the long run.”

    Don’t matter in what way? If they can have a notable impact on US policy, that will matter.

    • ritzl
      May 26, 2015, 9:14 am

      RoHa, or maybe the future of the Jewish community is to be “radical leftist” (aka have a consistent sense of morality concerning Israel), where the current “definers” of who is or is not a Jew are the vestigial group fading to irrelevance.

    • Mooser
      May 26, 2015, 3:27 pm

      “If the JVP Jews influence a sufficiently large number of Jews, and this influence passes on from generation to generation, then more and more Jews will become ex-Jews, and leave no Jewish offspring.”

      You are right, RoHa! What’s a parent to do? Obviously, there’s only one strategy which can make a practical difference in halting this descent into apostasy: Parents should make joining JVP grounds for dis-inheritance, and the family assets (or that prodigal’s share of them) will be turned over to the JNF. That’ll show ’em!

  13. Citizen
    May 26, 2015, 8:42 am

    According to this article, George Soros has come up with a solution to the subject growing conflict within the American Jewish community: Be progressive, fund progressive PACs that ignore Israel completely, focusing only on US domestic issues, not US foreign policy: http://abuyehuda.com/2015/05/bending-the-arc-away-from-israel/

    If memory serves Soros supports BDS, at least when it focuses only on getting rid of the occupation. So that means J-Street thinking.

  14. Citizen
    May 26, 2015, 8:47 am

    Soros seems to work more subtly than the rest of the Jewish Billionaires impacting US foreign affairs, e.g.,http://parliament-square.org/index.php/index/3203-israeli-soros-rockefeller-ngo-breaking-the-silence-downplay-gaza-genocide-as-a-broad-ethical-failure-04-05-2015

  15. Mooser
    May 26, 2015, 10:47 am

    BTW, when we talk about “The Jewish Community, which one are we talking about? Are we talking about the Orthodox, the Conservative or Reform (to mention only the roughest divisions)?
    As far as I know (and I would appreciate any info to the contrary,) they are for all intents and purposes, separate religions.
    Hophmi may be talking about “Leftist radical assimilations” or whatever, but it sure sounds to me like he is talking about Reform Jews. Really, once a person has eaten tref slept with a Gentile, produced half-breed children, and ignored the Sabbath, what possible effect could they have on the Jewish future?

    • broadside
      May 26, 2015, 12:02 pm

      “Really, once a person has eaten tref slept with a Gentile, produced half-breed children, and ignored the Sabbath, what possible effect could they have on the Jewish future?”

      As hophmi said. None.

      • Mooser
        May 26, 2015, 3:21 pm

        “As hophmi said. None.”

        Azoy vert dos kichel tzekrochen!

  16. Landie_C
    May 27, 2015, 9:54 am

    Another sign of crisis is blacklisting of BDS and progressive Jews. Check out the article and comments in the Forward.

    http://forward.com/news/308902/shadowy-web-site-creates-black-list-of-pro-palestinian-activists/

    • Landie_C
      May 27, 2015, 12:17 pm

      Most of the libelous comments against Mondoweiss have been removed by now, but one can still be amazed (or not) at all the comments by right-wingers who are coming out in support of blacklisting.

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