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Thursday, August 06, 2009

British Jews too Zionist for Seth Freedman

I had missed this article in The Guardian, which just got gleefully republished in Gulf News, where Seth Freedman whines about how the otherwise wonderful British Jewish community is just too...Zionist:
For the most part, London's Jewish community is a shining example of social cohesion and pastoral care. Large charitable donations are raised on a constant basis and distributed to those in need of assistance; sick or lonely individuals are clutched to the communal bosom and provided for by welfare associations and concerned neighbours; and the ethics inculcated into each new generation are built on a bedrock of values dating back to biblical times.

Yet the blind spot that persistently handicaps those from the upper echelons of power down to street level is British Jewry's relationship with Israel. The community is bewitched by a 60-year old spell which dictates that to be a "loyal" Jew, one must profess unconditional love for Israel, regardless of the many faults and failings of the Jewish state.

People who apply logic, reason, and above all compassion in every facet of their daily lives suspend their principles when it comes to Israel, preferring to don a mantle of defiance and defensiveness when dealing with one of the most thorny issues to face Judaism in modern times.
He goes on to give his colorful interpretation of the awfulness of Jews having feelings for the Jewish state:
The sheriff's posse can be rounded up at the drop of a hat, and once they've mounted their steeds, the dissenters are swiftly run out of town, or at least driven underground and denied a public airing for their differing opinions. Those at the helm of communal affairs pull rank whenever Israel is deemed to be vulnerable, even if to do so means defending the indefensible in times when Israel's leaders wildly overstep the mark.
Even though the Guardian has no shortage of Jewish critics of Israel - like Freedman himself - he is implying that he is somehow muzzled by these rabidly pro-Israel Jews. He even goes so far as to blame anti-semitism on their being pro-Israel:
CST acknowledges that the upswing in antisemitic incidents this year is linked to Operation Cast Lead, yet point-blank refuses to see that British Jewry's harnessing itself to the Israel-right-or-wrong bandwagon in the heat of battle gives a green light to any racist looking to label all Jews as supporters of Israeli brutality.
Ah, now we can understand Freedman's point of view. You see, he's Jewish, but he hates being put in the same category as those pro-Israel Jews.

So he bizarrely thinks that anti-semites hate Jews because of Israel, and not the other way around.

Since so many of his British friends hide their anti-semitism behind anti-Zionism, he wants them to know that he isn't one of THOSE Jews.

He just wants to be loved.

Can you imagine an article in the Guardian that decries the much more real and monolithic support that British Muslims have for Arab regimes? Perhaps the Guardian thinks that routine torture, sexual harassment against women, discrimination against non-Muslims is behavior that doesn't deserve the type of vitriolic condemnation that Jews raising families in Efrat deserve.