For the record let me state that Jeremy Ben-Ami is one of my least favorite people. I just read a manifesto on this site where he justifies and circumlocutes, tries to drive wedges between Jews, and pretty much reaffirms his commitment to an Oslo-esque future of capitulation. Maybe its the full moon causing me to fail at reading comprehension tonight, but I failed to glean any positive visionary future for Israel from his verbose essay, just a whole lotta kvetching, blaming and pessimism.
One of us must surely be living in a reality distortion field, because our experience of Israel seems diametrically opposed. One Israel is youthful, enthusiastic and innovative, while the other Israel is a nation of partying scofflaws flirting with disaster. Will the real Israel please stand up.
But I rather suspect this platform is a peculiarly American phenomenon. “We are evil” is the hue and cry emanating from numerous cynical American commentators. And don’t get me wrong, I understand that this is not utopia. Idealists can spew until they’re blue in the face what’s wrong with the world and it doesn’t change a thing, they are just making a whole lotta noise.
And that is exactly what Jeremy Ben-Ami sounds like, a disgruntled noisemaker. He doesn’t make a lot of sense, doesn’t have any good ideas and he doesn’t unite people behind a positive vision. He is, however, pretty good at nebbishly reciting the litany of wrongs committed against him and his followers, and pointing out what’s not perfect among Israel and Jews. I’m not really sure why this particular talent deserves so much media coverage, unless we collectively wonder if we are really evil. Unless, horror of horrors, the honeymoon is over and we Jews are married to this monstrosity called Israel. That this creeping malaise of imperfection will ruin the marriage, and centuries of Jews yearning for Eretz Israel was better off as a fantasy.
Its not my problem if Jeremy Ben-Ami suffers from commitment anxiety and foresees the imminent demise of Israel because we are not doing what he says. I really don’t care. And I am tired of all this whining pessimism. I just haven’t found the giant delete button that will erase him from my news feed. So if y’all would just stop taking him seriously I’d appreciate it.