The wrong kind of Jews…

Bari Weiss, right, and Batya Ungar-Sargo, left, at a panel on American Jews and Israel last year in NY. Yair Rosenberg is between them. Israeli flag in background. Screenshot.

JVL Introduction

The war against “the wrong kind of” Jews on the left is as vicious in the States as it is in Britain.

Philip Weiss  discusses  the theme of a new book by Bari Weiss (New York Times opinion editor)“How to fight Anti-Semitism” – that anti-Zionist Jews are, simply put, enemies of the Jewish people…

This article was originally published by Mondoweiss on Sat 31 Aug 2019. Read the original here.

Anti-Zionist Jews are ‘as deeply opposed to Jewish interests as our enemies’ — Bari Weiss

We have repeatedly pointed out that New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss demands loyalty of American Jews to Israel on Zionist principle: we are one Jewish people, and the Jewish state reestablished Jewish sovereignty after the millennia. Her expectation is not so different from that of Donald Trump, who has said that Jews who vote Democrat are being “disloyal” to Israel.

Weiss’s new book, “How to Fight Anti-Semitism,” presses the point by attacking anti-Zionist Jews as enemies of the Jewish people, according to excerpts posted by cartoonist Eli Valley and the book’s publisher at Amazon.

Anti-Zionism is not just anti-Semitism because of current reality. Anti-Zionism is also anti-Semitism because of history… As many well-intentioned people look to understand why a very small but very vocal group of Jews seems as deeply opposed to Jewish interests as many of our community’s enemies, these Jews ought to be understood in context, as part of a long history of leftwing anti-Semitic movements that successfully conscript Jews as agents in their own destruction.

Weiss lumps these anti-Zionist Jews in with Stalinist Jews and other disloyals. “Whereas Jews once had to convert to Christianity, now they have to convert to anti-Zionism,” she writes.

Once again, this is Zionist doctrine. To be Jewish in the 20th/21st century means to support Israel. Weiss’s idea of “Jewish interests” is a familiar loyalty oath re Israel. Here is Irving Kristol on Jewish interests 46 years ago, very much in the same mode:

Senator [George] McGovern is very sincere when he says that he will try to cut the military budget by 30%. And this is to drive a knife in the heart of Israel… Jews don’t like big military budgets. But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States.

Eli Valley tweets,

@bariweiss ‘s lies about the Jewish left—that we’re ignorant of our history, that we’re not motivated by Jewish values, that we’re concerned simply w/social acceptance—are an obscene replay of Trump’s antisemitic “disloyalty” trope. That it’s hyped by the Forward is astounding.

Valley refers to Batya Ungar-Sargon of the Forward. She has been promoting Bari Weiss’s book, and herself has sought to marginalize anti-Zionists as a lunatic fringe.

I think 95 percent of the American Jewish community is pro Israel. We are all still pro Israel. What we are not is willing to give it unconditional support… You can be pro Israel and criticize Israel, that is what it means to be an American Jew. We are no longer willing to give unconditional support.

Ungar-Sargon has herself posted excerpts from Bari Weiss’s book containing criticisms of the anti-Zionist left.  “It’s true that anti-Semitism on the left isn’t actively threatening Jewish lives. Instead it demands that Jews renounce other Jews/Jewish history or face moral condemnation in progressive spaces,” Ungar-Sargon writes. 

Passage from Bari Weiss’s forthcoming book on Anti-Semitism. Posted by Batya Ungar-Sargon

Passage from Bari Weiss’s new book, posted by Batya Ungar-Sargon.

“So now anti-semitism can be about hurting certain people’s feelings,” Scott Roth has remarked.

Will Menaker jibes: “It’s complicated and truly hard to say which is worse: being killed or having to face any criticism of Israel at all ever.”

Mairav Zonszein cites Weiss’s book in a tweet about the new definition of anti-Semitism: “I think it’s fair to say this is war.” And if it is, how many anti-Zionists have platforms in the mainstream media? Zero. So it’s a generational war of social media voices versus entitled establishment voices, on one of the great ideological issues of the day, Is Zionism a failure?

Thanks to Donald Johnson.

Comments (2)

  • The Rosey Jewish says:

    I mark this time of year by beginning to think of what I have got right and wrong since last Rosh Hashanah…

    One thing I urge you all to do is to follow the documentary on the BBC about the rise and fall of the Nazis and compare the populist ‘man or woman of the people’s that Hitler pretended to be with the figures on the populist right wing now.

    The aching truth is that many of us thought the Zionist project was a legitimate and timely reaction to millennia of pogroms, massacres, and wildernesses that all Jews faced at some point. Sadly, whatever it once WAS , I doubt any of Zionism’s proponents would recognise the ‘Zionism’ befouling that small strip of land called Israel, in the hands of its ‘caretakers’… to justify one state’s presence, people and legitimacy by the displacement of another people? I say no – and anyone claiming to support such a project is a hypocrite if they simultaneously speak out against racism and for socialism in other climes, while mourning the Jewish people killed just for being Jews.

    Before I am anything, I am a humanitarian – even before being a Jew.

  • Patrick Regan says:

    Just thought I’d mention that this week’s Bill Maher programme (broadcast on Sky Atlantic at 9 pm, Sunday 15th September) featured an interview with Bari Weiss in which she said that the leader of the Labour Party is an anti-semite. A statement that went unchallenged.

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