The enemy within

Jews who break ranks when it comes to Israel have become convenient alibis for unabashed Jew haters.

A European burns an Israeli flag. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A European burns an Israeli flag.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WE ALL know the shtick: Let a Jew offer up a spirited defense of the Jewish State and the next thing you know, he’ll be pooh-poohed, scorned and slandered — in public discussions, on social media, in Internet comments sections — as a venal and obtuse partisan hack and a paid stooge of a sinister Israeli propaganda machine. Let him present an equally spirited critique of the any chance he gets, has stressed in a Facebook riposte that “I have many very close Jewish friends, one of whom, interestingly enough, is the nephew of the late Simon Wiesenthal.”
As evidence of the accuracy of his claims about Israel, the rock star has repeatedly cited an unimpeachable source — a Jew, namely Max Blumenthal, an American journalist who, in his new book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel,” portrays the Jewish state as — surprise — a racist, neo-colonialist, apartheid regime and offers up the exact same bombastic libels that Waters has endorsed. “‘Goliath’ [is a] journalistic portrait of the real Israel that has been whitewashed and covered up by the mainstream American media,” Blumenthal explained in an interview.
Par for the course, this child of privilege, who is the son of high-powered former Clinton aide Sydney Blumenthal, professes, too, to being a victim of an all-powerful “Israel lobby.” He laments that he even had to face the cancellation of some scheduled events to promote his book owing to pressure from militant Zionists. Such cancellations, for an author, clearly pose mortal danger, so one can sympathize.
ACROSS THE pond, Blumenthal’s ideological counterpart, British journalist Mira Bar-Hillel, pens provocative op-eds for The Independent about her devious coreligionists while bemoaning their penchant for crying “anti-Semitism” at the slightest excuse.
Bar-Hillel, a daughter of the late Israeli philosopher Yehoshua Bar-Hillel and the Property and Planning correspondent of Britain’s Evening Standard, brags about her contempt for her fellow Jews (“Am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas, yes”), while chiding them for treating the goyim “with ill-concealed contempt, yet [passing themselves off as] victims.”
“The Jews of today scare me,” she explains, “and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them, including relatives.”
And so it goes. No matter how slapdash, morally suspect, factually challenged, or plain risible your reasoning is, you have earned yourself immunity, or so you think, from being justly labeled an anti-Jewish and/or anti-Israel bigot so long as you are a Jew yourself, or can cite a Jewish source or “friend” who buttresses your prejudices with his own.
And the latter, as should be clear by now, isn’t that difficult. Jews, a famously emotive and argumentative people, will embrace just about any cause under the sun, regularly in strident opposition to one another. Anti- Zionism is no exception. Contrary to their stereotypical image as a clannish folk of undivided loyalties, Jews have been a fractious lot right from the get-go.
No sooner had King Solomon ascended to the heavenly realm than h views by other Jews, these critics conveniently paint themselves as much-harassed victims of a menacing Zionist backlash against them. Not only do several high- profile Jews making careers out of their virulent anti-Zionism portray themselves as fearless truth tellers and admirable contrarians, but they also prefer to posture as plucky rebels — and that, despite the comfortable trappings of elite privilege that derive from having tenure at leading universities and penning op-eds for the world’s most influential newspapers that many of them enjoy.
“Here in the US, students and faculty who challenge the dominant view of Israel risk baseless accusations of anti-Semitism, arrest, blacklisting or denial of tenure, promotion or academic positions,” opined Carolyn Karcher, a Jewish American professor emerita of English at Temple University in Philadelphia, in an op-ed she wrote last December for The Los Angeles Times.
Karcher came out in defense of the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israeli scholars, while accusing Israel of inflicting “unimaginable brutality” on Palestinians and running a Jim Crow-style apartheid system against Arab Israelis and Palestinians alike (talk about painting with a broad brush). “There are dozens of known incidents and likely hundreds that go unreported,” she added ominously.
The academic bristles at being labeled an anti-Semite, and rightly so. She is merely an uninformed commentator on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Nor do her charges challenge “the dominant view of Israel,” despite what she would have us believe.
Her hyperbolic condemnations of the Jewish state, as anyone familiar with the quality of discourse on the matter well knows, are perfectly ordinary these days, especially in the insular bubble of “progressive” academia she inhabits. But there’s a thrill to be had in preaching to the choir even while masquerading as a heroic dissident.
IN HER defense, pro-Zionist Jews are not helping their case by ceaselessly branding their most fiercely censorious coreligionists as “self-hating Jews”— a misnomer, if ever there was one. Going by all discernible evidence, these latter-day sons and daughters of Judah do not hate themselves one bit; if anything, they routinely evince a measure of narcissism that bespeaks almost obsessively cultivated self-love.
For evidence, let us submit the publicity photo of Gilad Atzmon. There, the rabidly anti-Jewish Israeli saxophonist, who styles himself as a “philosopher,” stares back at us in the customary pose of the cerebral narcissist — sternly pensive mien complete with a forefinger-on-temple hand prop for further effect.
What Jews like Falk, Bar-Hillel, Blumenthal, and Atzmon hate is not themselves but Israel — and often other Jews. Hold on, you might be objecting, such promiscuously disloyal members of the tribe hate the “Jew” in themselves? Perhaps. Few of us, however, are blessed with the gift of mind- reading, so such speculation must remain purely conjectural.
To many Jews, their pugnaciously anti- Israel fellows remain a puzzle. They should not. A fact invariably overlooked is that relentlessly decrying Israel can bring very tangible benefits for Jews. In an age when opposition to Israel has become a lynchpin of “acceptable” opinion across much of the West, and is a routine feature of life across the Arab-Muslim world, Jewish anti-Zionists are often feted as minor celebrities by adoring crowds of BDS-minded groupies and “postmodernist” academic types who are conducting a vendetta against Israel with a cavalier disregard for the truth and the facts.
After all, you don’t become a special rapporteur for the UN by being openly pro- Israel. Nor do you get invited to pen opeds for a variety of mainstream newspapers in order to sing the praises of the Jewish State.
And Gilad Atzmon would be no more than an obscure Israeli saxophonist, if not for his fiercely nonconformist views about Jews and Israelis. Yet here he is hailed by reviewers in Britain’s Guardian, a bastion of anti-Israel advocacy, as “a jazz giant” and “a great musician making an extraordinarily brave attempt to live in the modern world” (whatever that means).
We are speaking here about a man who loves spouting hackneyed, old anti-Semitic tropes, which he regularly does as a columnist for Veterans Today, a US-based website of conspiracy nuts, Jew-haters and right-wing extremists.
Atzmon argues that Jews had the Holocaust coming to them over their incorrigible treachery (though in the next breath he may well downplay or deny the Holocaust without any apparent sense of irony). “With Fagin and Shylock in mind,” he opines, “Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum [of Jewish brutality and mendacity].”
And here we are. A professor of English, a UN human rights “expert,” the son of a Washington insider, a newspaper columnist, and a flamboyantly slanderous saxophonist find common cause in decrying Jews, and their state, over their treachery, cliquishness and “barbarism.”
But given that they are all Jews themselves, they are impeccably informed, objective and fair-minded observers, and thus they should be taken seriously.
Or so we’re expected to believe. 