The consequences of backing a loser

Left-wing Jews represent a sharply declining power base in America.

Netnyahu, cabinet ministers hold meeting at Western Wall ‏ (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Netnyahu, cabinet ministers hold meeting at Western Wall ‏
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
I’m reading a succession of whining articles across the Left and far-left American Jewish world about a decision in Israel. If I had to pick one modern Internet phrase to describe all of the sentiments expressed, it would be “butthurt.” Non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews have just experienced the first concrete result of overwhelmingly backing the wrong horse in 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken a local, pragmatic, political decision to renege on a deal over mixed-gender prayer adjacent to the holiest place Jews are currently allowed to pray. Local Israeli politics are, correctly, decided by those who live and vote in Israel. Netanyahu needs a coalition which includes Orthodox parties to counter the farleft forces that would, in the big picture, weaken his stance on defeating jihad and what he considers to be furthering the legitimate interests of the Jewish State of Israel.
Many of the Diaspora and far-left Jews currently experiencing this extraordinary sense of betrayal are the same ones who, on a different day, would call for Jews in Israel to be expelled from Jewish lands Jews regained in 1967. When exhausted, sometimes concentration camp-surviving Jews fought to an armistice line they could hold in 1949, it failed to include much of the beating heart of Jewish Israel. Not just the Western Wall: all of the Old City of Jerusalem, the burial places of our matriarchs and patriarchs and numerous other sites of incredible significance. Not only ancient sites but communities that had already re-grown following the centuries of jihadi occupation. Those reborn and ancient communities of Jews were marched out of their homes at Jordanian gunpoint (or murdered) in 1949.
Those of us lucky enough to live in Israel today and go about our daily lives without regard to that obsolete 1949 green crayon line have moved past regarding it with any reverence. We feel we’ve gone through every necessary process to prove that land for peace is predicated on the false assumption that conflict here is centered on land. Most of us are satisfied there is nothing we can ever afford to give up which would completely placate our foes. We will never return to being subjugated dhimmis under Muslim overlords: that has been the negotiating stance throughout all dealings with the Arabs for the past century. Subjugated Jews is their only acceptable solution to Islam’s internal crisis of having lost control of Jews who now fail to submit to Islamic Sharia law.
THOSE SAME, largely American, Jews who feel deeply betrayed by Netanyahu’s latest pragmatic political maneuver overwhelmingly wish to participate in inter-faith bridge building with Islam in America. They’re vehemently against US President Donald Trump’s attempts to look closely at the implications of Islamic hate for non-Muslims. They’re fighting huge internal battles over whether it is even possible to separate a desire to destroy the world’s only Jewish state (anti-Zionism) from Jew hatred. Perhaps in the context of a John Lennon-inspired “Imagine” dystopian nightmare one could call for all nations to be abolished, but if you’re attacking only the Jewish claim to nationhood and no other nation, then anti-Zionism is hatred of Jews.
These Jews backed all the causes which lost in the 2016 election, and they didn’t just back the losing side – they were vehemently dismissive and contemptuous of so many who voted for Trump. Perhaps in their own eastand west-coast bubbles, they managed to avoid wider contact with the red MAGA-hat wearing, unwashed masses, but they are out there, filling all the space between the coasts.
What power do these Jews still hold in Washington then? Far less than they did nine months ago. Can they bring a halt to defense aid? Unlikely: many in Israel would like to see us less reliant on American defense spending aid. It is also obvious most of the US aid, overwhelmingly given as a gift card, valid only for purchasing from the big American defense contractors, is a symbiotic relationship. Both sides need it.
And how, specifically, have American pro-Israeli lobbying groups (and even what I consider to be an anti-Israeli group like J Street) converted financial clout into political power in the US? They gave money to politicians for their campaigns. The earth-shattering result of 2016 (and it has continued into 2017’s special elections) is the precipitous decline in the link between campaign spending and winning. This spending used to go to buy adverts on main-stream media. There will be books written on why this link is broken: collapse in trust of mainstream media; social media and so forth – but broken it is.
Left-wing Jews represent a sharply declining power base in America, and they’re also breeding themselves out of existence. Jews who voted for Hillary wish to create a new assimilationist, progressive Judaism which they think suits their own position in a Diaspora society. It isn’t clear there is widespread political support for this transformation in Israel. Israel is stronger than it has ever been: the same foreign Jews who advocate two states on the ’67 lines effectively don’t want Israeli Jews to own apartments which overlook the Western Wall Plaza. Thankfully they no longer get to decide the way in which Jews pray there.
The author made aliya from the UK to Israel in 2009. He runs a business in Israel while writing and broadcasting about Israel and Islam. He is an indigenous rights activist living on the ancestral lands of his forefathers.
Follow the author @brianoflondon