Yoni Leviatan
How to be Jewish: Be good. The end.

Hypnotized by Israel? Hypnotized by the Jews.

It’s not easy being pro-Israel in today’s America. To begin with, the notion that any country filled with millions of people from different races and faiths should be judged in such wide-sweeping generalizations as to characterize one’s attitudes towards it using a pro- or anti- prefix is more than a little racist.

And anti-Semitic when talking about Israel. Regardless of how many Jews themselves state they’re pro-Israel. Jews only feel the need to say it out loud due to the chorus of anti-Semites who sing very loudly their anti-Israel views – when it’s clear they are more than a little anti-Jew, too.

In fact, a recent UK study found “hostility to Israel is closely related to anti-Jewish hatred” with a “clear statistical connection” between the narrative claiming Israel is an apartheid state deserving of a boycott, and “the endorsement of traditional anti-Jewish tropes.”

Although it doesn’t take a scientist to recognize bias caked in bigotry. Which other country’s supporters and detractors are labeled in such polarizing terms? Every country has supporters and detractors, with the majority not really giving a shit, but no other country – except for the one filled with Jews – is described in the kind of polarizing language which forces everyone to take sides.

The quintessential application of bigotry towards a group happens when the worst individual examples are held up as the best representative of the whole. When you see Jews behaving badly, how does it make you feel? Do you curse the name Bernie Madoff? Or do you curse how a Jew made off with the jackpot – just as you expected?

The idea is more than a little similar to claiming all Muslims sympathize with the terrorists among them. But the idea that everyone should be judged according to the content of their character rather than any group identity is worthless unless it is extended to all groups equally and unequivocally. That means hard-right Jewish settlers in Israel are not any more representative of the Jewish people as a whole than are far-left Jewish socialists in America.

All are Jews. All have different ideas about what it means to be a Jew. All have different attitudes towards Israel, America or anything else in this world. No other ethnic or religious group is expected to denounce the non-American side of their ethno-religious identity in order to join national political movements – except for the Jews. Especially those who support the world’s only Jewish state.

It is par for the course to say that criticism of Israeli governments and policies is as legitimate and justified as criticism of American governments and policies. Surely that is understood in today’s hyper-polarized America better than at any other time in history.

Yet no one is asking anybody whether they are pro- or anti-America. Nobody is asking any other minority whether they retain pro- or anti- sentiments towards that first half of their identity. Only the Jews.

Do Latin-Americans walk around saying whether they are pro- or anti-Venezuela? They speak about people and governments. Pro/anti-Maduro.

Are African-Americans asked whether they are for or against the many ruthless regimes which have ruled in Africa?

Is anybody demanding Catholics stop supporting the Vatican because of crimes committed by pedophile priests?

Have you ever seen an Asian-American confronted over China, shamed for what is happening in another country on the other side of the world?

Israel doesn’t belong anywhere near those examples considering it’s one of the world’s most liberal democracies. And not the neat kind which allows corrupt leaders to resign with their dignity intact. It’s the kind which is indicting the current prime minister after sending the last one to jail along with the president before him. (We may not always pick winners, but you could do worse than Israeli democracy.)

The blind stereotyping of American Jews and their connection to Israel is a singular phenomenon, although it certainly isn’t new. For thousands of years Jews as a whole have been blamed for everything from the death of Jesus to the birth of capitalism and communism – extremely opposed ideologies – proving de facto the extent of diversity in Jewish thought.

How do you spot the anti-Semite in a crowd? Find those who love the Jews who agree with them – almost as much as they hate the ones who don’t.

These people don’t see Jews as individuals. They see them as Jews. In the same way racists see Blacks as Blacks and Asians as Asians. For these people the Jews constitute a singular front. A nefarious opposition maneuvering in the dark in order to hypnotize the world with their Jewish brains and Jewish money and stubborn Jewish support of the world’s only Jewish state (heaven forbid).

Who are these people who are so hypnotized by Israel?

The ones who keep bringing it up. And when doing so manage to categorize all of American Jewry as a sinister group who shouldn’t be trusted by their own government.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. These people are not hypnotized by Israel.

They are hypnotized by the Jews.

About the Author
Yoni Leviatan is a British-born, American-raised, Israeli-blooded musician, content producer, brand strategist, presenter and political analyst who loves to think out loud. Especially about Israel. Originally from Coral Springs, Florida, Yoni has been living in Tel Aviv since 2009, returning to the land of his parents and grandparents and ancestors before them. He has a BA in Criminology from the University of Florida and an MA in Political Science & Political Communication from Tel Aviv University. Click to watch his videos. Click to hear his music.
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