Caroline Glick: Liberal Jews embrace progressivism, can't defend Judaism

In June, the New York Police Department released a report on crime from Januay-May 2019 and it showed that antisemitic crimes rose by 90%.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
October 7, 2019 05:52
4 minute read.
SUPPORTERS OF THE National Socialist Movement give Nazi salutes while taking part in a swastika-burn

SUPPORTERS OF THE National Socialist Movement give Nazi salutes while taking part in a swastika-burning in Georgia in April. . (photo credit: GO NAKAMURA/REUTERS)

On September 29, US President Donald Trump made a promise, “America will never tolerate such antisemitic hate.”

He said, “The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”

In an op-ed in the Jewish News Syndicate, Caroline Glick pointed out that this statement resonated with Zionists, as they are Jewish nationalists.

Notoriously antisemitic Iran, Glick pointed out, is completely opposed to nationalism, often claiming that its goals have more to do with Islam and "Jew-hatred" and not for the sake of Iran.

"Iran’s leaders subscribe to genocidal Jew-hatred. They use their commitment to annihilating Israel and war against the Jewish state as a means to build legitimacy for their regime and revolution throughout the Islamic world," she wrote.

Despite Trump's pledge, and his acknowledgment and condemnation of antisemitism around the world, the response from American Jews was less than supportive. Many went so far as to say that Trump's speech was antisemitic because of his use of the word "globalists."

Prior to Trump's statement, the Reform Movement published a statement on its website, criticizing the president.


"Since taking office, President Trump’s words and actions have sowed division, spread fear, and expressed hateful views that go far beyond the legitimate expressions of policy differences that characterize healthy political debate," the statement read.

They then accused Trump of using antisemitic tropes. "In recent days, President Trump even suggested that Jews who vote for Democrats are “disloyal.” Regardless of whether he was referring to disloyalty to Israel or to the United States, this reprehensible statement evokes centuries-old antisemitic tropes about Jews having dual loyalties and/or being untrustworthy citizens of their nations."

Glick then asks, "what has the Reform movement done for American Jews?" and answers "nothing," saying it was clear to the few hundred demonstrators gathered outside of New York City Hall on September 22.The demonstrators aimed to convince officals to act against the antisemitic attacks in NYC.

"Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, was the only leader of a major Jewish organization among the participants," Glick noted. "Aside from two New York City councilmen, no Jewish politicians attended the event. New York Senator Charles Schumer wasn’t there. Neither were any of the Jewish representatives from New York. The Union of Reform Judaism also didn’t send a representative."

She then pointed to a pointed to a possible reason for the lack of Jewish representation - the attacks are not on reform Jews and the purpotrators are not easy to confront.

In June, the New York Police Department released a report on crime from January-May 2019 and it showed that antisemitic crimes rose by 90%.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio held a press conference in Brooklyn after the NYPD report was released and blamed the antisemitic attacks on the right. I think the ideological movement that is antisemitic is the right-wing movement," he said. "I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right.”

Glick responded to De Blasio's assertion that the attacks were coming from the right. "Unfortunately for De Blasio, there are no neo-Nazis in Crown Heights and Williamsburg. The perpetrators of the attacks against his city’s Jewish community are not Trump voters. They are his voters."

She continued, "Most of the perpetrators are African Americans, and as such, like the Reform Jews, they are members in good standing of the progressive camp in American politics. The liberal Jewish establishment in America is far more comfortable talking about neo-Nazis than black antisemites."

In her article, Glick points to progressives as the source of antisemitic attacks in the US. She pointed to liberal groups, such as J Street and the Anti-Defamation League, saying that they either outright oppose or were on the fence about anti-BDS legislation.

"Which brings us to the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. The attacks against the Jews of Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Boro Park are serious and growing more frequent. Jews walking down the streets are beset by assailants who call them “Dirty Jew” and beat them with sticks and fists. Jews are sideswiped with bricks. Jewish women are assaulted, their head coverings violently removed. Synagogues are vandalized," she said.

Glick then drew on history, likening the current attacks against Jews to the violence against Jews of Crown Heights in 1991. She points to Reverend Al Sharpton, a major figure in the Democratic Party, as a main instigator of the "three-day, four-night pogrom carried out by African and Caribbean American rioters" in which 180 Chabad community members were injured.

"And, in recent months, as the Jews of Crown Heights again absorb blows from their African American neighbors, the Reform Jewish movement has joined Sharpton’s fan club," Glick wrote.

She claims that this is an attempt to keep numbers high by trying to hide antisemitic progressivism. Glick references a 2013 Pew poll that showed that a decreasing amount of American Jews actually believe that practicing Judaism is an important part of being Jewish.

"The problem with this strategy is that with anti-Semitism rapidly becoming a major component of progressive politics, the more strongly liberal Jews embrace progressivism, the less capable they become of defending their Judaism—much less defending their fellow Jews who aren’t progressive. And if nothing changes in the trajectory of progressive politics, sooner rather than later, liberal Jews will be forced to abandon either their Jewish identity or their progressive identity," Glick commented.

Glick conclided on a minor note, "For the American Jewish community to survive this clash, the leaders of the community need to begin fighting for their rights as Jews. Unfortunately, at present, there is little reason for optimism."


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