Leftist Jews — Part I: Jewish Uncle Toms

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12 responses

  1. Nancy Carol Brown Hardin says:

    Thought provoking content. I’ve met a few of what I called “self-hating Jews,” which seemed to me to be rather hypocritical. But because I am not Jewish, it’s hard to say anything back to them, even when they make statements that I know are not accurate. I found a couple people were really hard to deal with, because they were rude, discourteous and made horrible remarks about their own people. I can’t respect that or the person doing it. The other Jews I’ve known have been kind and generous in speaking with me. Waiting for your next installment, and I know it will bring up just as many questions as this one.

  2. Naftali says:

    These are not self-hating Jews. Just the opposite, they love themselves too much and think of themselves as morally superior to all other Jews. They demand their twisted level of perfection from people who face daily terror which they themselves don’t have to deal with. Richard Silverstein, Phil Weiss, Peter Beinart are examples.

    They generalize any single incident by an Israeli as indicative of the whole country, but of course call you an Islamophobe if you dare to say that ISIS reflects Islam.

    They claim to be pro democracy but do everything to undermine Israels democracy.

    These people are ENEMIES of Israel.

    • Sheri Oz says:

      And some of these leftists ARE facing the daily terror – they are our fellow Israelis living here too.

  3. BH Sternfield says:

    The Historian Paul Johnson had this category of “non-Jewish Jews”, putiing people like Trotsky, Rosa Luxembourg and Bela Kun in this category. During the Rissian Civil War in the 1920’sa lot of these non-Jewish Jews were in the Cheka oppressing their fellow Jews, committing many outrages that the other side took revenge on all other Jews when oppurtunity presented itself. Typically many of these leftist Jews were liquidated by their non-Jewish cohorts (Isaac Babael, Rudolf Slansky) once their usefulness was over. Great Article.

    • Sheri Oz says:

      Thanks for the compliment and for the lesson. I love it when readers teach me new stuff. Now I have to go look up the non-Jewish Jews of the Cheka.

  4. Finally getting to put down my thoughts here.

    You are trying to logic out why some Jews adopt an antagonism to Israel and/or Zionism, manifesting itself as support of BDS. You posit these are Jews who feel conflicted about their Jewishness, and furthermore their support for BDS opportunistic, seeking out approval and advantage. Do I understand you correctly.

    I can only speak from the experience of the few people I have read and the people I have met. Certainly people like Finklestein, Beinart, Blumenthal and Weiss have all boosted their careers on being anti-Israel and/or anti-Zionist. But, I think they all present in very different ways, are driven by very different outlooks and shouldn’t be lumped together.

    I think what mainly drives the BDS supporting Jews is that they already are part of a group that supports equal rights, social safety net, economic opportunity, environmental protection, workers rights, etc. Attitudes traditionally associated with the political left. Anti-Zionism has successfully insinuated itself into the left, and they adopt the attitude uncritically after being exposed to misinformation from sources otherwise consistent with their beliefs.

    So I think what is at work here is a combination of ignorance, misinformation, confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and commitment. I have literally been told “Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.” When I have asked, “Can you please explain how a 2.5 fold increase in population, decrease in infant mortality, and increase in average life span amounts to genocide?” The answer I get is, “So, maybe lots of people aren’t getting killed, but it is still genocide.” Really!

    So based on the people I have met, I see them as persuaded to support this view because they are already exposed to the view within the group where they find themselves already politically at ease.

    Why does the “left” embrace anti-Israelism/anti-Zionism? It goes back to the cold war. The USSR adopted it to garner allegiance from the Arab states. They provided the rhetoric used by communist affiliated groups in the west.

    • Sheri Oz says:

      It’s a long time coming, this response to you. You understood me perfectly. I think you have a pretty good picture of the situation. I have found materials that state that the Left embraced anti-Zionism in opposition to the USSR connection with the Arabs. Interesting, given the socialist bent of the Left. With people seemingly largely unable to tolerate ambivalence and complexity, Leftist Jews were unable, it seems, to critically assess the Left’s anti-Zionism while still agreeing with other aspects of Leftist ideology.

  1. December 8, 2017

    […] I discussed how leftist Jews, who often act in ways that are detrimental to Israel, are more like Uncle Toms than self-hating Jews or the kapos to which they have sometimes been compared. Uncle Tomism means […]

  2. January 14, 2018

    […] does not demonize those to my left but, rather attempts to understand them, as I tried to do in this article. Ben-Dror Yemini, the knowledgeable leftist, reminds us that there can be those who know the facts, […]

  3. August 10, 2018

    […] Leftist Jews — Part I: Jewish Uncle Toms […]

  4. August 10, 2018

    […] I discussed how leftist Jews, who often act in ways that are detrimental to Israel, are more like Uncle Toms than self-hating Jews or the kapos to which they have sometimes been compared. Uncle Tomism means […]

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