Off Topic | Liberal Jewish zeal fuels the alt-right

Source: Israel Hayom | Liberal Jewish zeal fuels the alt-right

Isi Leiber

We try to rationalize that the anti-Zionist behavior of individual Jews does not justify anti-‎Semitic bigotry.‎

However, the crass political exploitation of their Jewish identity by American leaders of ‎purportedly “nonpartisan” mainstream Jewish organizations 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 ‎fueling anti-Semitism.‎

Nobody suggests that Jews should not be entitled, like all American citizens, to engage in ‎the political activity of their choice. As individuals, they may support or bitterly criticize their president, but as leaders of mainstream religious and communal organizations, 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 organizations during and since ‎the November 2016 presidential election 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 organizations have also distanced ‎themselves from or even abandoned Israel. They have done so even though the administration under President Donald Trump ‎has the potential to restore the U.S.-Israel alliance that former 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 ‎Trump has signaled his intention to renew the alliance. ‎

The fact is 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, ‎organized fasts and days of mourning in their synagogues and, donning prayer shawls and ‎kippot, paraded at the forefront of anti-Trump demonstrations that vulgarly undermined ‎the presidency, emphasizing 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 organizations ‎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 made 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 takes only a few fanatical scoundrels ‎to ignite a flow of anti-Semitic tweets and social media activity. It takes only 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 right-wing extremist but an African-American notorious for his tweets against “white ‎people” and “white media.”‎

Alas, the reality is that in promoting their personal political agendas and vulgarizing and ‎demonizing Trump while posing as Jews motivated by religious principles, these liberal Jewish Americans 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 responses 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 groveling 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 that has transformed ‎many American university campuses into hotbeds of anti-Semitism. Jewish students are being ‎intimidated and pro-Israel speakers denied the opportunity to make their case. This has ‎worsened in 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 who blame Trump for anti-Semitic threats? Greenblatt opposed the ‎legislation against anti-Israel boycotts, insisting that some of their 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 demonization 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” and emphasized that “Trump is not an anti-Semite.” He warned that the ‎issue “has been hijacked politically by Democrats who have 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 demonization is reversed or halted, there will be major long-term negative ‎ramifications on the standing and influence of the American Jewish community.‎

Isi Leibler’s website can be viewed at He may be contacted at

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