When the Jew-bashers are Jews

- MELANIE PHILLIPS - AUG 13, 2021 - Melanie Phillips -

No other people does this kind of damage to itself. And repeatedly over time, too

The latest move by President Joe Biden to appal many American Jews as an act of wanton hostility is his appointment of the progressive rabbi, Sharon Kleinbaum, to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Kleinbaum has been accused of repeatedly using her pulpit at New York’s Beit Simchat Torah — the world’s largest LGBTQ congregation — to demonise Israel.

During Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza in 2014, Kleinbaum read a list of Palestinian and Israeli casualties, including the names of Hamas terrorists, in special prayers during her synagogue’s services. A number of members quit the synagogue in protest.

Her other half, Randi Weingarten, who is president of the American Federation of Teachers, distinguished herself in turn by saying in April that American Jews were part of an “ownership class” in the United States who want to take opportunities away from others.

Kleinbaum is but the latest in a series of anti-Israel appointees by the Biden administration. The twist in the knife is that she is a Jew and even boasts the title of rabbi.

Such Jewish individuals are routinely used as human shields by Jew-bashers on the left. In Britain, the former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who presided over an eruption of Jew-baiting and Israel-bashing in his party, boasted as his friends certain anti-Israel Jews —particularly if they were religious — in order to rebut accusations that he was an antisemite.

Those who know nothing about Judaism may therefore think that the malevolent views such Jews express about Israel represent authentic Jewish values. Certainly, many of these anti-Israel Jews themselves think that.

In fact, their values turn Jewish principles of justice and truth on their heads, and their Israel-bashing is but a thin veneer for a hatred of other Jews or Judaism itself.

Part of the explanation for this is the influence of Marxist ideology that now dominates left-wing thinking through “social justice” (which is anything but). Since most American Jews subscribe to this view of the world, they are not only increasingly turning against Israel; they assume, shockingly, that the anti-Jewish precepts of leftist ideology are Jewish ones.

Today, this muddle takes vicious form through the doctrine of intersectionality. This grotesquely demonises Israel and the Jewish people as representatives of white supremacism, colonialism and racism and holds that their victims are people of colour, the LGBTQ community and Palestinian Arabs.

However, the phenomenon of Jews turning against each other reaches deeply back into history with innumerable examples. The very first blood libel is thought to have been promoted by a Jewish convert to Christianity in medieval England.

In his essay On the Jewish Question, Karl Marx wrote: “Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist”.



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