Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why Are So Many American Jews Liberal?

This article first appeared in New English Review.

An op-ed this week in the Los Angeles Times written by former county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (a Jew) and Salam al Marayati, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization, once again caused me to ask the old question: Why are so many American Jews liberal-and more specifically, why do they come to the defense of Muslims? The op-ed challenges President Trump's travel ban imposed against 6 Muslim-majority nations.

To be sure, I am not the only non-Jew (or Jew) to ask that question. American Jews do tend to be liberal and also tend to support the Democratic party. They do so even though it is the Republican party that wholeheartedly supports Israel while the Democrats are highly divided on that issue. Not that American Jews are 100% behind Israel. The American Jewish community is highly fragmented in most every area, and some are even virulent enemies of Israel.

But to the larger question of Jewish liberalism, no doubt the Holocaust is a large part of the explanation. Jews in the US have traditionally been supportive of those who suffered from discrimination. Among Caucasians, Jewish Americans were highly represented in the Civil Rights movement much to their credit.

However, in spite of liberal propaganda that attempts to put blame for the resurgence in anti-semitism on the right (KKK, neo-Nazis, skin heads etc), the evidence shows that most anti-semitism today comes from the left, is inspired by pro-Palestinian sentiment, and is mostly stirred by pro-Palestinian and Muslim quarters. The focal point for American anti-semitism today, in my opinion, is on our university campuses and points directly at the pro-Palestinian groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association. Yet, many national Jewish advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation, and many campus Hillel chapters simply refuse to address it. They would rather stand with their Muslim "allies" against Islamophobia. They choose to ignore the fact that not only is Israel opposed by the Arab and Islamic world because of supposed land disputes, but that Jew hatred (and hatred toward Christians as well) is deeply ingrained in the teachings and the texts of Islam. Any Jewish-Muslim alliances in the US are (for the Muslims) only marriages of convenience. MPAC's parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, has no sympathy for Jews whatsoever.

As for the op-ed itself, I can only quote the reader comment I sent in to the LA Times in response.

"It is sad that Yaroslavsky has been taken in by the head of MPAC, a Muslim Brotherhood front group that does not defend Jews from anti-semitism in the MIddle East.

The analogy with the refusal to accept Jews during the 1930s is not accurate. There were no terrorist Jews in Europe or Jews who threatened the US. In Syria (and Iraq) the only ones fleeing religious persecution are Christians. As for the Syrian refugees and those from the 6 countries on the travel ban, we know that ISIS will infiltrate their fighters into the refugees. We also know we cannot adequately vet these people or even fully ID them. 

In addition, the analogy with Japanese-Americans interned during WW II is false and cynical. Nobody is suggesting that Muslims in America be rounded up and put in internment camps. That was an injustice and America learned that rounding up innocent people should not be repeated.

It would be nice to see someone in the above picture carrying a poster saying, "Muslims against anti-semitism". That is a much bigger problem in the US than "Islamophobia".

President Trump is merely trying to protect the public and prevent the loss of innocent lives in a terror attack. Yes, many innocent Muslims will be denied entry, but no non-American has the right to enter our country. It is we who decide, and the President has the legal right to make this decision."

I should add that while Yaroslavsky's name has long been familiar to me as a native Southern Californian (I even saw him speak once), I am not very familiar with his politics.

I certainly respect the fact that oppressed peoples can feel sympathy for others they deem to be suppressed. The Dutch, for example, having been occupied by the Germans during WW II, developed one of the most liberal post-war European societies-to the point, in my view, of absurdity. Today, they, like other Western European countries, turn a blind  eye to the anti-semitism of their restive Muslim immigrants in the very name of tolerance. It makes no sense whatsoever, either practically or morally.

To be fair, we should not single out only Jewish leaders as wanting to allow more Muslims into the US. Many organized Christian churches, even at the national level, are heavily involved in refugee re-location from countries like Syria, Somalia and other high-risk nations. It is irresponsible and dangerous. One would think they would pay more attention to helping Christians in Iraq and Syria fleeing genocide at the hands of Muslims.

If Jewish leaders like Yaroslavsky want to help allow more and more Muslims into the US, they should do so with their eyes wide open. Not only do they increase the possibilities of more terrorist attacks on our soil; they also increase the level of Jew hatred in American society. There are many liberal causes that can be supported without putting everybody at risk. Flooding the US with more Muslims who are lightly vetted represents an existential threat.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Jews are liberal because they have lost their traditional militant socialist heritage.

Jews vote for Democrats because the Republican Party has a long tradition of opposing Jewish immigration, keeping Jews out of the best clubs, and being skeptical of Israel.

Conservatives are johnnies come lately to support of either Jews or Israel, just as conservatives have discovered the deep moral imperative of supporting gays, once persecution of gays became a minor feature of the Islamist movements. (Minor in relation to what Islam-as-political-ideology overall stands for; to the person being stoned it is of course 100 percent).

Gary Fouse said...

I don't know about that. I grew up in LA when some country clubs didn't admit Jews and they had their own clubs. Were they all Republicans who were keeping them out?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Conservatives yes, Republicans, not all of them.