American liberal Jewish leaders fuel anti-Semitism

March 16, 2017 by Isi Leibler
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We try to rationalise that the anti-Zionist behaviour of individual Jews does not justify anti-Semitic bigotry.

Isi Leibler

However, the crass political exploitation of their Jewish identity by American leaders of purportedly “nonpartisan” mainstream Jewish organisations is unprecedented. Today, in what must be described as self-destruction, a substantial number of irresponsible leaders of the most successful and powerful Jewish diaspora community seem to have gone berserk and are fuelling anti-Semitism.

Nobody suggests that Jews should not be entitled, like all American citizens, to engage in political activity of their choice. As individuals, they may support or bitterly criticise their newly elected president, but as leaders of mainstream religious and communal organisations, they are obliged, as in the past, to assiduously avoid being perceived as promoting partisan political positions.

What has taken place in leading mainstream American Jewish organisations during and since the elections can only be described as a self-induced collective breakdown. What might have been regarded as a temporary aberration has in fact intensified in recent weeks.

Let us set aside the fact that many of these liberal Jewish organisations have also distanced themselves from or even abandoned Israel. They have done so even though the Trump administration has the potential of restoring the U.S.-Israel alliance that then-President Barack Obama undermined in a vain effort to appease Muslims. It is also clear that, for many assimilated liberal Jews, Israel is no longer a priority, especially now that President Donald Trump has signalled his intentions to renew the alliance.

The facts are that liberal Jewish leaders have declared a hysterical war against the Trump administration. Led initially by the Anti-Defamation League but rapidly joined by the Reform and Conservative wings of the Jewish community, many Jewish community leaders have exploited their positions to endorse a vicious campaign in which Trump is portrayed as a satanic anti-Semite promoting fascism and racism, representing the antithesis of Jewish values. This, despite the reality that his presidency highlights an unprecedented acceptance of Jews at the highest levels of government.

Headed by CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama staffer, the ADL initiated its campaign during the elections by effectively echoing the far-left J Street. It accused Trump of tolerating and encouraging anti-Semitism and white supremacy and engaging in Islamophobia. Greenblatt went so far as to proudly announce that if immigration restrictions weighed against Muslims, he would proclaim himself a Muslim and called on Jews to do likewise.

At the same time, some progressive rabbis, usually without a mandate from their constituency, organised fasts and days of mourning in their synagogues and, donning prayer shawls and kippot, they paraded at the forefront of anti-Trump demonstrations that vulgarly undermined the presidency, emphasising that their political stance was a product of their religious Jewish values.

Furthermore, they supported and participated in demonstrations led and hijacked by vicious anti-Israel Muslim activists such as Linda Sarsour and even convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh. In a similar vein, the ADL continues to promote Black Lives Matter despite its hatred of Israel and support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The constant false accusations of anti-Semitism were highlighted by the biased liberal media emboldening right-wing degenerates who were provided with enormous exposure. This created a perception of a sudden rise in radical right anti-Semitism.

There has been a huge flurry of anti-Semitic outbursts in social media. Jewish organisations have been plagued with bomb threats and several cemeteries were desecrated.

The media highlighted these developments and many Jews panicked, in the belief that this was evidence of a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism, and accepted the false allegation that this was a Trump factor. Last week, Greenblatt went so far as to make the preposterous statement that Trump had “emboldened” anti-Semites and encouraged acts of terror in his own country.

Fortunately, to date, not a single Jew has been harmed. It only takes a few fanatical scoundrels to ignite a flow of anti-Semitic tweets and social media activity. It only takes a handful to telephone bomb threats to Jewish organizations. The campaign to blame Trump and accuse him of indifference to anti-Jewish agitation is simply nonsensical.

It is also noteworthy that the first person arrested for having made numerous bomb threats was no alt-right extremist but an African-American notorious for his tweets against “white people” and the “white media.”

Alas, the reality is that in promoting their personal political agenda and vulgarising and demonising Trump while posing as Jews motivated by religious principles, they are hypocritically exploiting their leadership positions and fueling anti-Semitism.

This becomes even more stark in contrast to the eight years of Obama’s administration, during which not a single condemnation was uttered against the outrageously biased statements in relation to Israel. Obama’s repeated statements attributing moral equivalence to Israeli defenders and Palestinian terrorists, his accusations of disproportionate Israeli response to terrorism, and his refusal to condemn the Iranians as they repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the map, were all ignored. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was treated despicably in Washington while Obama was grovelling to the Iranian terrorists.

There is no distinction between anti-Semitism of the Right and Left and the forces of bigotry that are mushrooming globally, including within the U.S., albeit the most tolerant nation in the world in relation to Jews.

The reality is that today, the prime global anti-Semitic threat emanates not from neo-Nazis but from the witches’ brew of far-left and Muslim anti-Jewish incitement, which has transformed many American university campuses into hotbeds of anti-Semitism. Jewish students are being intimidated and pro-Israel speakers denied the opportunity of making their case. This has deteriorated over recent years and today represents the central source of anti-Semitic agitation in the U.S. Where are the shrill voices against this manifestation of anti-Semitism from those that blame Trump for anti-Semitic threats? Greenblatt went as far as to oppose the legislation against BDS, insisting that some of its promoters still loved Israel and should not be condemned.

A large proportion of Trump supporters are Christian evangelicals whose passionate support for Israel more than compensates for liberal Jews who are more concerned about Muslims, a substantial proportion of whom hate and would kill Jews, endorse jihadism and support the destruction of the Jewish state. Obviously, witnessing Jews purporting to be upholding Jewish values by engaging directly in the demonetisation of their president must outrage them.

It is surely time now for responsible Jewish leaders to intervene and condemn this distortion of Judaism, making it clear that these liberal officials and rabbis have no mandate to speak on behalf of the Jewish community and are simply promoting their personal political agendas.

The Zionist Organization of America and some Orthodox Jewish groups are trying to dispel the perception that these attacks on Trump are officially Jewish-sponsored. To his credit, Abe Foxman, himself a liberal, who headed the ADL for three decades prior to Greenblatt, urged Jewish leaders to “cool it” emphasising that “Trump is not an anti-Semite.” He warned that the issue “has been hijacked politically by Democrats who’ve made it a political issue to attack Trump,” though he also noted that “Republicans made it a political issue to defend him.” His conclusion: “The whole issue has become a political football and that doesn’t serve us.”

It is sad and ironic that the decline of the most affluent and successful community will have been engineered by some of its leaders who, in their fanatical liberal zeal, exploited their Judaism and Jewish affiliations to advance a partisan political agenda. Unless this tide of official Jewish anti-Trump demonisation is reversed or halted, there will be major long-term negative ramifications on the standing and influence of the American Jewish community.

Isi Leibler lives in Jerusalem. He is a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.



4 Responses to “American liberal Jewish leaders fuel anti-Semitism”
  1. Ron Burdo says:

    And we have AJDS, Anthony Loewenstein et al…

  2. Eion Isaac says:

    It’s not useful to generalise liberals and leftists because there are policies like infrastructure spending on a great scale to create jobs that “leftists” and the Trump administration agree on .
    Obamas policies were difficult and niave and led to mayhem but he signed the Memorandum of Understanding of Thirty Eight Billion Dollars American for Israeli Security against the Fanatical Haters of Israel.
    The Obama administration helped fund the Iron Dome Defense System some Israelis were skeptical .
    Some Jewish people have not concentrated competently on Islamic Holocaust Denial Villification of the Jews in the Hamas Charter and have ignored dangerously the horror of the Nazi Collaboration in Holocaust by many in the Palestinian Leadership in WW2 led by Amin El Husayni who met with the Nazi Feuhrer on November the 28th 1941.
    Well to remind those who protest malevolently against the UN partition of November 29 1947 .

    • Gil Solomon says:

      Eion, there is unmistakeable linkage (I refer you to what happened in Egypt a few years back in the coup that toppled Morsi)that Barack Obama was a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and I have no doubt, still is. He had members of this terrorist Jew hating organisation in the white House appointed under Executive Privilege to avoid senate confirmation hearings as to their suitability. There is no point talking about what he did for Israel based on US political considerations (read that as deceiving gullible American Jews) when the reality is he gave Iran the green light to nuclear capability.
      It is amazing that when all is said and done, with all that we know of B. Hussein Obama, one can always bet there will always be Jews who will attempt to present this man in a positive light.

  3. Gil Solomon says:

    I can understand why any average American and Trump supporter who has to listen to or read day after day of some Jew after Jew be they in Congress, the media or wherever opposing trump on every single issue no matter what and never giving him a chance no matter what he does or attempts to do, turning into an anti-Semite. Quite frankly, the majority of American Jews sicken me. They are leftists first and foremost before any other criteria and will vote Democrat till the day they die. They voted not once but twice for Obama and this time around overwhelmingly supported Clinton, a woman who would have taken the USA over a cliff and without hesitation shoved Israel under a bus, not that many of this lot care any longer about Israel one way or another. In the future, Trump could quite rightly come out and say he owes absolutely nothing to the American Jewish community when one day their representatives go cap in hand knocking on the White House door, asking, demanding or begging for a favour.

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