“Is there another people on earth so emotionally twisted that they consider everything their nation does despicable and hateful, while every murder, rape, robbery committed by their enemies fill their hearts with admiration and awe.” [Berel Katznelson]
Fellow Blogger Melanie Takefman, posting on Times of Israel asks the following two questions:
“How do you reconcile patriotism with disdain for your country’s actions? How can you communicate effectively with the majority while challenging its most deeply held assumptions and beliefs?”
These are lead questions in her opening paragraph to her piece, “Forced to air our dirty laundry” on October 20, 2016. An initial reaction is that in the event that “your country” is a a democracy and the matter at hand is of a life and death nature, it should not be done publicly.
Ms. Takefman is or has been, by her own proclamations, associated with two liberal organizations, the New Israel Fund [NIF] and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel [ACRI]. As recently as January 15, 2017, the NGO Monitor featured an article on the New Israel Fund, which is extremely detailed, well beyond inclusion in this post.
The report informs us that in practice, NIF continues to fund NGOs such as Adalah, Breaking the Silence, +972 Magazine and Physicians for Human Rights Israel that are primarily active in campaigns that contribute to BDS and demilitarization. It also emphasizes unsupported allegations of “deliberate systematic,and widespread targeting of Palestinian civilians;” “war crimes and crimes against humanity,“ and “grave violations of international humanitarian law.”
Approximately 20” of NIF grants go to 25 advocacy NGOs active in political campaigns which involve, to different degrees, demonetization of Israel, including BDS and lawfare, under the headings of “Civil and Human Rights:” “Religious Freedom:” and “Social and Economic Justice.”
Back in 2011, Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Liebler penned an Op-Ed, “The two faces of the New Israel Fund.”According to Liebler, the majority of the recipients are indeed worthy institutions engaged in social welfare and developmental projects which all Israelis would endorse. Despite this, in the previous year, they directed over a quarter of their funding [$4.3 million] to groups engaged in delegitimization and other forms of anti-Israel activity.
Nearly $500, 000 was provided to Adalah:
[a] who contributed to and campaigned for the Goldstone report
[b] urged foreign governments to “reevaluate their relationship with Israel”
[c] described Israel as “a colonial enterprise promoting apartheid”
[d] called for implementing the Palestinian right of return to Israel
[e] provided affidavits to Spanish courts in order to charge Israeli officials with war crimes
[d] and defended Hizbullah spy Amir Makhoul as a “human rights defender.”
Liebler acknowledges that without the perseverance and determined investigative analysis of Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor, the public would be totally unaware that such vast sums are provided to anti-Israeli organizations.
Haifa Professor Steven Plaut discussed the under-handiness of ACRI on February 6, 2009, demonstrating how Israel had been plagued by this leftist “civil rights”organization. He points to its being a far left anti-Israel advocacy group. As in the case of most “civil rights”groups , it is extremely concerned about the human rights of genocidal Islamist terrorists, but not very concerned about the human rights of the children of Sderot and Ashdod.
Plaut has carried a media war against ACRI for several years, including court actions. The defections listed are rather greater than one would anticipate and can be readily found on the internet.
What we have today is not classical liberalism and is referred to by several names extending from “political correctness” to “leftism” and “liberalism from the far left”. A psychiatric by the name of Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr. MD has written a complete book on the subject. This extensive work is entitled, “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness”. A brief summary extracted from an editorial follows:
“The Liberal Mind is the 1st in-depth examination of the major political madness of our time. The radical left’s efforts to regulate the people from cradle to grave. To rescue us from our troubled lives, the liberal agenda recommends denial of personal responsibility, encourages self-pity, and other pity, fosters government dependency, promotes sexual indulgence, rationalizes violence, excuses financial obligation, justifies theft, ignores rudeness, prescribes complaining and blaming, denigrates marriage and the family, legalizes all abortions, defies religious and social tradition, declares inequality unjust, and rebels against the duties of citizenship.
Through multiple entitlements to unearned goods, services and social status, the liberal politician promises to ensure everyone’s material welfare, provide for everyone’s health care, protect everyone’s self-esteem, correct everyone’s social and political disadvantage, educate every citizen, and eliminate all class distinctions.
Radical liberalism thus assaults the foundations of civilized freedom. Given its irrational goals, coercive methods and historical failures, and given its perverse effects on character development, there can be no question of the radical agenda’s madness. Only an irrational agenda would advocate a systematic destruction of the foundations on which ordered liberty depends. Only an irrational man would want the state to run its life for him rather than create secure conditions in which he can run his own life. Only an irrational agenda would deliberately undermine the citizen’s growth to competence by having the state adopt him. Only irrational thinking would trade individual liberty for government coercion, sacrificing the pride of self-reliance for welfare dependency. Only a madman would look at a community of free people cooperating by choice and see a society of victims exploited by victims.”
Clearly, what we are suffering today is far cry from the classical liberalism of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbs, John Stuart Mill and others.
Nick Cohen, a journalist for the Observer, selected his blog on the Spectator, for his September 19, 2015, “Why I’ve finally given up on the left”. By way of an introduction, he points to his recognition of
left-wing thought having shifted towards movements it would once have denounced as racist, imperialist and fascistic which he felt was insupportable.
Cohen came from a left-wing family, marched against Margaret Thatcher and was one of the 1st journalists to denounce New Labor’s embrace of corporate capitalism – “and I don’t regret any of it.” But slowly, too slowly, “I am ashamed to say, I began to notice that left-wing politics had turned rancid.”
To him, the US leftist-turned-neocon Irving Kristol set the pattern for the theory of politics when he opined that a conservative is a liberal who has been “mugged by reality”. Cohen felt that Kristol did not understand that the effects of realty’s many muggings are never predictable, or that facts of life are not always, as Margaret Thatcher claimed conservative. “If they were, we would still have feudalism.” He also contends that the one prophesy he can make with certainty amid today’s chaos is that many on the left will head for the right. Further, when they arrive, they will be greeted with “bogus explanations for their ‘betrayal’”.
Michael Faraday describes himself as a former “useful idiot”. He was born into a working-class family in New Zealand in 1960, has been a refugee advocate, and a history teacher. He teaches young people with Autism and has spent over 3 decades unlearning leftist thinking. He shares his thoughts through an essay published by Front page Mag on March 16, 2016. It bares the title, “The mind of the left from an insider”.
Faraday points out in the British colony, millions have been “raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, and so on.” Some leftist families date back over a century and consider themselves leftist royalty. He also informs us that contrary to opinion, leftism isn’t just about hate. Leftists are more complex than than that. They engage a whole range of emotions involving hate, anger, fear, bitterness, jealous, envy, rage, greed, pride, smugness, and paranoia.
Given such a parade of negative emotions, he remarks that “—-it is no surprise that so many leftists suffer from chronic depression—-they still retain the attitude that the government must fix everyone’s problems, regardless of cost—-.” Leftists combine child-like naivete and paranoid aggression in all their narratives. Faraday’s feel-good multiculturalism slowly died. He began to see the strength of Judaeo-Christian civilization. He observed the dishonesty and viciousness of the takeover by the leftists. When he argued with them, their near-psychotic rage shocked him, leaving him with a feeling of conversing with lunatics.
Despite all, it is difficult to depart from one’s surroundings. One cannot readily escape the most powerful lie they have – that the Left “cares”. One must fully embrace the fact that “this is a lie.” “All leftist ‘caring’ has a hidden agenda.”
Having in mind the forgoing, Melanie Takefman’s book review of Tuvia Tenenbom, “Catch the Jew”, published on June 26, 2015 in the Jerusalem Post magazine, is readily recalled. Initially, after acknowledging the “best selling book” and providing several positive attributes, her leftist tendencies rises to the surface. This, despite the fact that the book was highly acclaimed by many others including left wing journalists and news sources. Some examples:
New York Times – “Bluntly satirical—– Emotionally explosive—-irresistibly fascinating—-seductive—–engaging.”
Die Welt – “Tuvia Tenenbom is Michael Moore and Borat in one.”
Haaretz – “A literary sensation.”
Maariv – “A brilliant book.”
Channel 2 – “ The most important book I have read in the last 5 years.”
Shalom Hartman Institute – Yossi Klein Halevi, Senior Fellow, “One of the funniest books I’ve read in years – and one of the most heartbreaking. Here is the Middle East conflict as you have never experienced it before. Tuvia Tenenbom is a brilliant satirist and an extraordinary reporter. Beware: This book is like a pungent French cheese – for connoisseurs of truth only.”
Yedioth Ahronorth – “A fascinating, picturesque book by a picturesque author.”
Israel Hayom – “Run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy—-I haven’t laughed this hard out loud in a long time —–This book is a must for anyone who wants to formulate an independent opinion on the reality in this region.”
Walla – “Its been a long time sine a book affected me so deeply.”
Makor Rishon- “Funny, shocking, depressing documentation of anti-Antisemitism and self-hatred.”
Galei Zahal – “The best book in the bookstore!”
Mida – “The humor in ‘Catch the Jew!’is razor sharp, it is highly intellectual and it’s so funny that it will bring tears to your eyes—-Tuvia is curious as a cat, sly as a fox, friendly as a Labrador, and is also a man with seismographic sensitivities.”
Ms. Takefman has difficulty in accepting Tenenbom’s judgment, forgetting that despite his present choice of a secular existence his past consisted in a rigid study of Judaism. As such, he would surely recall Isaiah’s encapsulation of much of the world’s culture as expressed in biblical Article 5:20;”Woe to those who call evil good , and good evil.”She proclaims that, “Too much is missing—-”.The author did not suggest that he was seeking to produce yet another history book. Rather, he was hoping to probe the minds of the general public as regards the Arab-Israel conflict.
When she questions Israel’s financial support for Israel from Sheldon Adelson and the Evangelical Christians in the US, what relevance is this in relation to Tenenbom’s intent? He is probing the inner thoughts of the general public as opposed to various leaders.
Takefman speaks of “how desperate both Israel and the Palestinians are to get their stories out to the media.” Really? Does she ever read the “letters to the editor” section in any newspaper? Where bias does exist, it is generally in favor of the Muslims, Arabs or not.
Yet another topic of discontent, “—-we don’t here about the Palestinians’ real suffering and the discrimination Israels Arab citizens face.”
One wonders if she ever heard of the Grand Mufti. From as early as 1920, Haj Amin Al-Husseini [to be named Grand Mufti], actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of the Nebi Musa riots. These riots were in response to Jews praying at the Western Wall. He acquired the reputation as a violent, fanatical anti-Zionist zealot in the eyes of the British; and yet, following the death of the existing Jerusalem Mufti, British Palestine High Commissioner, a Jew, Sir Herbert Samuels, who at the time was influenced by anti-Zionists generals in his army, pardoned Hussein’s extreme anti-Semitic ideals and appointed him as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1922. This character became world famous by establishing himself with Hitler, requesting his help in dealing with the Jews.
One has also to wonder if Takefman is familiar with Abba Eban’s famous UN speech on the creation of the refugee problem. In his words, “ The Arab refugee problem was caused by a war of aggression, launched by the Arab States against Israel in 1947 and 1948. Let there be no mistake. If there had been no war against Israel with its consequent harvest of bloodshed, misery, panic and flight, there would be no problem of Arab refugees today.
So much for Palestinian suffering!! History clearly illustrates Jewish reaction to Muslim violence at all times and not as Liberal leftists conceive, the reverse.
The work of Harvard Professor Ruth R. Wisse as reflected in her masterful, “The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews”, facilitates our understanding of the far left and one of its grandchildren, Melanie Takefman.
She has the extraordinary ability to capture the very essence of the subject in a minimum of words. “Liberals believe in progress and in the progressive improvement of human society.” Underlying all liberal positions is an attitude of hopefulness regarding human nature Liberals trust that all human problems are amenable to negotiated solutions and detest the use of force because “—-it throws humankind back to a more primitive stage of civilization.”
Wisse recall sociologist Nathan Glazer, one of the most prominent interpreters of Jewish liberalism in America, informing us that the “tradition” of liberalism is so powerful among American Jews that they adhere to it despite the fact that it no longer represents their political interests. Pointedly, “—-Jews earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans— -.”
Until Jewish liberals restore dignity to their lives, reconnect with history and abandon their brand of liberalism, they will not be able to respond to the vacuous charges of “settlements”, “occupation” ; and realize that there are alternatives to the failed “two state solution”.