Zuckerberg And Portman -The Stampede From Jewish History

Finally the mask is off, the truth is out and it is sad. However, what’s good about telling the truth is , that we hear what we need to know, rather than what we like to.It Is about Jewish Progressive Millenials and their attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people and history. It is about two star representatives of this group, Mark Zuckerberg and Natalie Portman. No, they may not be the only , or even the most representative spokespersons of this group of people, which unfortunately is not so small, but in our day in age, in which celebrities are public opinion leaders, then they are important enough to relate to what they say and think and draw some more general conclusions.

For so long we hear that the Millenials have strong grievances about Israel , the state which was rated no. 8 in the ranking of important countries in the world in 2018. Well, the word grievances is just a soft reference to something much deeper, and this is the sheer hatred which so many young American Progressive Jews display towards Israel, while basing their hatred on charging that Israel is NOT the Jewish state it claims to be, whereas they are the representatives of true Judaism. The charge focuses on one key word, and this is the ”occupation”, the word which , for them, symbolizes the evil of Zionism. Everything about Israel is the ”occupation”, and this is the outlet which enables them to put aside 3000 years of national existence, and start it all in June of 1967. That in itself is an indication of the true problem which we have to deal with here, and this is the running away from Jewish history. 1967 was an important year in our national annals, but it was one of many such years, whereas those who believe that this is THE formative year in history, use this in order to build a new identity for the Jews,based on a Universalist approach, or in their language, ”Tikkun Olam”. No more emphasis on the particulars of Jewish history.This is where Natalie Portman and Mark Zuckerberg come into the discussion and in such a dramatic way.

Portman boycotted recently a ceremony in Israel, where she was supposed to get the Genesis Prize given annually to Jews who have attained excellence in their field. She explained, that ”recent events” in Israel, referring to the Gaza incidents, made it impossible for her to come to Israel, especially that she was supposed to get the prize from PM Netanyahu. So, she did not use the word ”occupation”, but it was there, and clearly, she got so much praise from like-minded Progressive Millenials. Sounds true to form, but then came into the discussion something else, which , for me, IS the key to understanding her attitude. It is the fact, that in the last 5 years, this actress consistently referred to the Holocaust with repeated statements which castigated the Jews for too emphasizing this event, calling for Jewish education to be much less focused on it, and claiming, that the Holocaust was not a unique event in world history. Few weeks ago, the young actress went a step further, comparing in a youtube commercial for Peta the eating of meat to the Holocaust. This travesty is the most dramatic indication, of how terrible the concept of ”Tikkun Olam ” is. This is where it all goes far beyond and above anything connected with the ”occupation” or any other policy of this or a previous Israeli government. The attack on the legacy of the Holocaust by Portman was her declaration of separation from Jewish history, from anything which is unique in the annals of our people. If the Holocaust is compared to eating meat, then this famous Jewish Millenial is showing utter, irreconcilable disrespect to her people. This is beyond a policy difference with Israel, this is tantamount to giving a Get to Jewish history. So, Natalie can really be now an honored member of the Progressive community at large.She earned her entry ticket to the club.

Also Mark Zuckerberg gained his entry ticket. Dare not say/write anything Homophobic and Islamophobic in FB, because then you are doomed to FB censorship, or jail.Surely it is unacceptable to write anything like that. As a user of FB , I can attest to the fact, that I was never punished by FB , however it is not a problem to spread Holocaust denial in FB. It is here where Mr.Zuckerberg chooses to show his adherence to ”Tikkun Olam”,On the back of the memory of 6 million Jews .Sure, Zuckerberg is not an Holocaust denier himself, and so is Portman, and thank them very much for that, at least. But short of being Holocaust deniers, they use exactly this event in order to signal to their Progressive Millenials that they are ok, they are ”ours”, and no, they are not as narrow-minded as many other Jews are, because they understand the true Progressive meaning of Jewish History, and it is, that if the Jews think, that there is something special about their history , then they are wrong.. The bad news is, that they are influential and therefore damaging. The good news , for me at least, is that while I write these lines , I read that 300 new Olim came to Israel today, among them many Millenials. Good to know, that not all Jewish Millenials are Progressives, and the future is bright.

About the Author
Dr Josef Olmert, a Middle East expert, is currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina