Monday, August 28, 2017

"Ideological Jewish Police Force"

I've long been struck by how the Jewish hard-right and the Jewish far-left mirror one another with respect to how they view the American Jewish mainstream. Think about it:
  • Both complain repeatedly about how they're supposedly excluded from mainstream Jewish conversations.
  • Both think most Jews are idiots and/or traitors for not backing them, and say so at every opportunity.
  • Both are seemingly baffled as to why most Jews don't like them, notwithstanding that they -- as per above -- think we're idiots and/or traitors and say so at every opportunity.
  • Both are bi-national curious.
This is a thought I've had for awhile, but it really sprang to the fore while reading this remarkable column by Nachama Soloveichik complaining of an "Ideological Jewish Police Force" targeting that poor, beleaguered minority -- the conservative Jew. Tell me, how familiar does this litany sound?
It is not pro-Jew to wield political ideology as a religious weapon. 
It is not pro-Jew to demand allegiance to a singular belief system. 
It is not pro-Jew to fan the flames of ant[i]-Semitism and anti-Zionism (often two sides of the same shekel) with disproportionate attacks on Israel. 
It is not pro-Jew to dictate what it means to be Jewish.
It even includes the ur-complaint: "[I]s there a danger in being too quick to label everything and everyone anti-Semitic?" (Donald Trump enters the oval office and suddenly everyone discovers their sense of nuance).

But even still. Leave out number three, and you've got the list of demands from every progressive Jew who objects to the community's alleged over-policing of left-of-center community members. It is a remarkable convergence -- one that makes me wonder if the author is even aware of it.

Color me dubious. But it remains the case that -- were it not for the fact that they hate each other -- ZOA-types and JVP-sorts would have quite a lot in common.