Useful Yidiots

October 15, 2021 by Michael Kuttner
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One of the best definitions I have seen of the term, “useful idiots” is One who is seen to unwittingly support a malignant cause through their ‘naive’ attempts to be a force for good.

Michael Kuttner

A “useful YIDIOT” is someone who is Jewish and fulfils all the criteria mentioned above.

Over the years there has been no shortage of candidates stretching from Biblical times right through to the present day. With some notable exceptions, those who fall into this category are not evil individuals but rather are possessed by a burning desire to be a force for good even if their efforts are detrimental and dangerous for the majority of Jews who may be impacted by their zealous actions.

Looking back a few years one can easily identify past occasions when these people had an undue and often malign influence in the lives of Jewish communities.

Take for example those Jewish leaders who were close to FDR and did everything possible to excuse his deliberate neglect in saving Jews especially in the years immediately leading up to the Shoah.

Then we had communal machers and rabbis in pre-war Europe who discouraged their flock from emigrating to Palestine and the USA because in their opinion these places were dangerously secular or in their opinion whatever evil winds were blowing in Europe would soon blow over and life would once more return to normal. The irony of course was that “normal” in the European context had almost always meant pogroms, discrimination, quotas, ghettos and often times violent death.

Add in all those who were opposed to the Zionist agenda of a revival of Jewish sovereignty, whether because of socialist or communist ideology or misplaced fear that a Jewish sovereign nation would cause the patriotism of Jews to the lands of their dispersion to be questioned. In addition, we had all those who fervently believed that a return to Zion, prayed for three times a day by devout Jews, could only occur when the Messianic age dawned and free tickets would be issued for aliyah.

All these scenarios highlight the extent to which useful yidiots had a major influence on the fate and destiny of countless Jews. At this point in time, we can easily have the benefit of hindsight and logically we should be able to learn from the past.

It is somewhat tragic therefore that when we survey the landscape today we find that the exact same situations still exist and that there are still many, in fact far too many people who are repeating the same mistakes.

It has been observed that dead Jews are beloved by all those who weep crocodile tears as they proceed to support and implement policies that will result in more murdered Jews or Israelis. There are innumerable examples since the end of the Shoah and especially in recent times.

Take the case of the original partners of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They still cannot see that their single-minded obsession with Jews living in places like Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem is a classic case of being useful yidiots. Continuing to assert that denying the Jewish residents of these historical parts of Israel of ice cream is somehow a mitzvah sanctioned by the holy of holies known as the United Nations reveals a fatal flaw common to all victims of the yidiot syndrome. It may earn them brownie points with the Jew and Israel haters of this world but it won’t buy them immunity from eventually becoming victims of these same twisters of the truth. It also won’t advance any sort of peace process with those who believe that given enough useful yidiots, Israel will disappear.

President Biden has appointed Sharon Kleinbaum, a Progressive spiritual leader of a New York Congregation, to be a commissioner for International Religious Freedom. She obviously has all the right qualifications because not only is she a board member of the New Israel Fund but she also has participated in a “queers against Israel apartheid” event, supports the “squad” Congress group which demonizes Israel and recited Kaddish for Hamas terrorists killed in the 2014 Gaza Operation Protective Edge. With “friends” like this, I am sure that international religious freedom for Jews and Israel will be in safe hands.

Another candidate for the title of useful yidiot is the Jewish Democratic congressman, Andy Levin, who has introduced a bill entitled “Two-State Solution Act.” It designates Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem (including the Kotel and Temple Mount) and Gaza as “occupied territories.” As expected he garnered the wholehearted support of leftist legislators and groups such as J. Street.

The anointed saint of socialist and ultra-left political correctness is, of course, Bernie Sanders, who believes he knows what is best for Jewish Israelis. The amazing thing is that no matter how much outrageous and vitriolic anti-Israel rhetoric flows forth from the mouths of Democratic legislators they know that over 75% of American Jewish voters will still support them.

At least in the UK, British Jews, including some Jewish MP’s, stood up and defected from toxic anti-Israel and anti-Jewish policies of the Labor Party while Jeremy Corbyn was the leader. The same principled actions apparently are missing in the USA.

A symptom of how large portions of American Jewry are in fact waning is highlighted by the news that a group has been formally established to normalize the refusal of parents to have their infants initiated into the Covenant of Abraham by Brit Milah (circumcision). Even during the height of the emancipation in Europe non-religious Jewish couples still made sure that their babies had a Brit.

With the epidemic of assimilation now ravaging US Jews and an increasing detachment from anything fundamental to Judaism the establishment of an organization dedicated to sanctioning the banning of Brit Milah is not surprising. Apparently, there are sufficient “progressive” leaders to give it an aura of respectability.

A report surfaced this week of a wealthy Jewish American couple, the wife a reform rabbi, who donated millions of dollars to missionary hospitals in Africa. Apparently, they also donate money to Hatzalah in Israel but in nowhere the same proportions. What caught my attention however was the statement by the rabbi’s husband who is reported as saying: “I’m observant. I do Shabbat dinner.”  If that is indeed the extent of his Shabbat observance then is it any wonder that other fundamentals of the Jewish Faith are being ditched?

In the news today was a report that an Irish non-Jewish author whose recent novel has just been published has prohibited the book from being translated into Hebrew because she supports BDS and a cultural boycott of Israel for its “racial domination and segregation.”

This at least proves that useful idiots and yidiots are equally clueless when it comes to supporting malignant anti-Israel and anti-Jewish causes.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

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