Sunday, March 14, 2010

Anti-Semitic Jews

The phrase "anti-Semitic Jews" is strange, but it accurately describes a small minority of people out there today. Among them are the Neturei Karta. This fringe Orthodox group believes there should not be a Jewish State of Israel until Mashiach personally establishes it. Since the modern State of Israel did not come into existence this way, they do not recognize Israel. However, anti-Zionism in theory becomes anti-Semitism in practice. They have proven this by supporting tyrannical leaders who not only hate Israel, but also seek its destruction. They also provide a poignant example of not judging people by how they look. Even their name is misleading; it means "guardians of the city," when in reality they are enemies of the state.

On the secular end of the spectrum are radical college professors, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein. They have made atrocious claims over the years about both the Holocaust and Israel (in Finkelstein's case, it is particularly sad because he's the son of two Holocaust survivors). Although the reasoning behind their anti-Semitic positions differ, they have something in common with the Neturei Karta: hatred of Israel and support for genocidal regimes. This is another example of where the extreme religious and extreme secular meet. While there's nothing wrong with criticizing specific Israeli policies, there's everything wrong with singling it out from all places on earth for extermination. It's unfortunate these radical Jews think they're "morally enlightened," because an accurate historical account of Israel depicts an overwhelmingly decent country.

We desperately need Jewish unity, but that entails more decency; the highest form of indecency occurs when someone deliberately seeks to hurt innocent people - especially when those people happen to be millions of fellow Jews living in Israel. When an individual believes in a certain philosophical approach, they should stand up for it in the battleground of ideas - not stand next to terrorists who want to turn another country into a battleground. Part of improving intra-Jewish relations is accomplished through tolerating our ideological opponents, but we cannot tolerate our existential enemies. Thank-God, anti-Semitic Jews are very few in number (sometimes they just seem larger because of media attention).

If you've read through this blog before, it should become readily apparent that its primary message is concerned with Jewish interpersonal decency. In the vast majority of cases - even when we strongly disagree with fellow Jews - we should go out of our way to act in a kind manner toward one another. However, if someone is actively pursuing your destruction, you have to strongly oppose them. We should always be inclined toward impeccable treatment of other people, but that doesn't mean casting aside common sense. If you see Jews happily meeting with genocidal dictators or proudly denying the Holocaust, there is something seriously wrong that needs to be addressed.

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