A response to anti-Zionist Jews - opinion

Anti-Zionist Diaspora Jews should stop pretending their core values are “justice, equity and solidarity.”

 A MAN holds up a sign that reads ‘A hero of Israel: All of Israel salutes you’ at the funeral of policeman Amir Khoury, who was killed when he exchanged fire with an attacking terrorist in Bnei Brak last month (photo credit: David Cohen/Flash90)
A MAN holds up a sign that reads ‘A hero of Israel: All of Israel salutes you’ at the funeral of policeman Amir Khoury, who was killed when he exchanged fire with an attacking terrorist in Bnei Brak last month
(photo credit: David Cohen/Flash90)

Dear Tzedek Chicago,

Thank you. You flattered us. Last summer, Natan Sharansky and I called out the “Un-Jews,” Diaspora Jews trying to un-do Judaism’s core post-Holocaust, post-1948, consensus – echoing Abraham and Sarah – linking Jews, Judaism, the land of Israel, and today, the Jewish democratic State of Israel.”

In one rant, attacking “public calls to categorize anti-Zionist Jews as Un-Jews” – you link to our article.

Bravo! I’m thrilled to be in your crosshairs. By calling yourselves anti-Zionist you identify with the world’s most murderous Jew-haters since Hitler. Anti-Zionists have killed over 23,928 Israeli soldiers. Anti-Zionist terrorists have destroyed more than 1,392 innocent lives since 2000. Anti-Zionists have wounded over 75,000 Israelis. And anti-Zionists delightedly distribute candy whenever Palestinians murder Israelis. That’s the company you choose to keep.

That’s why your name is in quotation marks. Tzedek means justice in Hebrew. Now that you’re out as anti-Zionist, embrace it! Change your name to reflect the bloodbath you champion, the terrorists you enable. Call yourselves Eee-Tzedek, Injustice-ville. And stop pretending your core values are “justice, equity and solidarity.”

To delegitimize only one country, trying to cancel us, is arrogant – which is the characteristic character flaw of the unjust (see Putin, Vladimir). And for you - from Chicagoland - to decide that after millennia of wandering, the Jews don’t deserve a home, don’t deserve collective justice, promotes injustice.

 South African demonstrators and BDS activists hold placards during a protest in May 2021 outside the Israel Trade offices in Sandton, SA, following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence (credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS) South African demonstrators and BDS activists hold placards during a protest in May 2021 outside the Israel Trade offices in Sandton, SA, following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence (credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS)

Think through what you anti-Zionists endorse: dreaming of demolishing this 74-year-experiment in Jewish democracy greenlights the mass-murder Palestinian terrorists have long sought. As for equity, we can smell your hypocrisy here in Jerusalem, 10,000 km. away. Your condemnation of nationalism starts and stops with Zionism. Your beloved Palestinians are ultra-nationalists.

You reject any ideology that “insists upon exclusive Jewish entitlement to the land, recognizing that it has historically been considered sacred by many.” What about Palestinian nationalist ideology insisting upon exclusive Palestinian or Muslim entitlement? That fuels the rejectionism resisting compromise - from the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which Jews accepted and Arabs rejected, through the Oslo Peace Process, when Israelis retreated from land and Palestinians launched bombs, to the Abraham Accords showing other Arabs accept us – as Palestinians cry foul.

No Israeli who sells land to Arabs faces the death penalty Palestinians face if they sell land to Jews. Honestly, would you rather be an Israeli-Arab in democratic Israel or a Jew under Palestinian control – let alone a Palestinian under Palestinian control?

YOUR SOLIDARITY claims particularly rankles. What kind of solidarity do you show your own people – such as those three young hipsters recently slaughtered in a Tel Aviv bar, let alone a murdered Israeli-Arab like Amir Khoury?

Nowhere on your very intentional website do you embrace the victim’s families, mourning these innocents. Yet, you claim to be “anti-violence.”

And let’s talk Torah. You emphasize “the Torah’s central narrative of liberation.” Exodus teaches how a people can free themselves from slavery. Such Torah values crossbred with certain secular sensibilities fed the Zionist revolution, creating the Jewish people’s national liberation movement. Why don’t Jews deserve freedom too?

Similarly, you wish “to speak truth to power.” Nevertheless, you join the trendy Progressive pile-on, wielding tremendous cultural and political power in today’s America against the Jewish state. You look in the mirror and see heroes, because grandma dislikes your acting out. I smell cowardly little diaspora Jews anxious to woo the cool non-Jewish kids. It’s an old insidious tradition: un-Jews justified sending Jews to the Gulag in Stalin’s name to serve godless Communism; you now dream of ending Israel in Yasser Arafat’s name to serve the god of wokeness.

To the prophets, cries for justice were real, not rhetorical. Wouldn’t they want you to take some responsibility instead of mindlessly joining the Jew-haters? Check your allies! Think through where your words and their ideas might take you.

Finally, your discovery in the Torah of some “expansive diasporic vision that views the entire world as our homeland” is delusional.

The Bible identifies one Jewish homeland, Israel. Israel serves as anchor, platform and home base. That doesn’t stop Jews from roaming. But, it teaches a subtle lesson you resist: Judaism understands human nature. It leans-in to the particularistic human wish to be tribal, anchored and interconnected. But, it also challenges us to reach out, to be insular but not insulated, rooted not rude and walled off enough to know who we are, but not so much that we don’t see others.

Clearly, you misinterpreted the Torah’s message that only by being yourself, feeling at home, can you embrace others. And I can’t comprehend the joy you take in bashing your own. You came out as anti-Zionist shortly before our nine-day string of national memorials and celebrations, from Holocaust Day, starting tonight, to Memorial Day and Independence Day.

I see through your virtue-signaling. Your shaking hands, quivering lips, crooked backs and swivel-headed necks would reduce what the legendary educator Avraham Infeld calls modern Jewry’s “Nine Days of We” to your Endless Days of Ennui.

No thanks. I’ll skip your breast-beating orgy and self-hatred festival. And I’m not the only one, over 70% of Americans resist your poison. And while your toxins egg-on murderous Palestinians and woo woke Jews, they lose their sting by the time they reach Israel.

A friend who hadn’t visited Israel since before coronavirus noticed three things when he returned: first, the joy and confidence in the streets; second, Israelis ignore all these anti-Zionist-Israel-colonialist-BDS-Apartheid libels; and third, he said, “all the babies!”

I’m happy to affirm this life-affirming country, so I will be there silently standing at attention to mourn. But, I’ll also be there proudly belting out “Hatikvah,” knowing that our hope, with all its subtleties, complexities, and occasional misfires, keeps inspiring others – and most Jews, too.

The writer is a distinguished scholar of North American history at McGill University, and the author of nine books on American history and three books on Zionism. His book Never Alone: Prison, Politics and My People, co-authored with Natan Sharansky, was published by PublicAffairs of Hachette.