Posts Tagged ‘American Jews’

A Chink in the Democrats’ Jewish Voting Bloc — A Taste of More to Come?

September 23, 2011

In early 2008, I asked, “Who will leave the Democrats first: Blacks or Jews?”.  The congressional election in New York’s 9th Congressional District in New York City, won this month by Republican Bob Turner, provides a preliminary answer.  The election represents a significant chink in Jews’ solidly Democrat voting record.  That district has been termed the most heavily Jewish of any CD, and is estimated at 30% Jewish.

The election result is considered to stem from the Democrats’ abysmal handling of the economy and Obama’s visceral and manifest hostility to Israel.  That Obama would be no true friend of Israel was manifest to many of us four years ago, but others are slowly realizing that in fact he is not.  But for the Jewish vote to truly be competitive in future elections, many more voters will have to come to that conclusion, and further, that Obama’s Islamophiliac and anti-Israel attitudes are rather consonant with much of today’s Democrat party.

On the other hand, the Democrats’ nomination of a black presidential candidate, and a successful one at that, has since further cemented the Democrats as the black community’s overwhelming choice.  That remains true despite the tremendous damage, economic and otherwise, that the combination of that party and that president has inflicted on both the black community and the country as a whole.

The only contingency that might tend to pry black allegiance from the Dems lies in the remote chance that further stark Obama failure, and a concomitant threat to other Dem officeholders up for reelection, causes the party to drop him from its 2012 ticket.

Indeed, both groups, Jews and blacks, are now bound to the Democrats by tradition. It has been claimed that people change their spouses more often than their political parties, and it certainly appears that the tradition issue is a powerful factor in the Jews’ and blacks’ allegiance to the Democrats.

Republicans and conservatives assert that, in fact, their policies better benefit the lower economic classes, including blacks, and all Americans, by providing the means and incentives for individuals to succeed on their own, and creating more wealth and prosperity for the society as a whole.

Jews, on the other hand, are more represented in the upper economic classes, yet still vote Democrat virtually on a par with blacks, essentially against their economic interests. That is the basis for the old saying, “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans,” and the concept remains essentially valid decades after the saying was coined.

Of course, the vast majority of Jewish immigrants to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were exceedingly poor. Thus their Democratic affiliation may have made sense at that time. However, their emphasis on education, entrepreneurship, and entry into the professions has resulted in a great American success story. This, in turn, has resulted in the rise of many of them to economic success in this country.

But they still vote overwhelmingly Democrat. A minority can be found among prominent Republicans and conservatives in government and politics, as well as other fields.

In addition to the tradition issue, Jews’ allegiance to the Democrats stems from their liberal/left wing views, particularly on social issues, such as abortion and concern for the poor.

Although some Jews have a concern for the well being of Israel, many do not, and the number who do is probably decreasing. And among many of those who do care about Israel, their level of concern is not great. But, given those limitations, the dissonance between the positions of those Jews who do care about Israel and the Democrat party is increasing significantly.

The Democrats have become a haven for the anti-Israel sentiment prominent among the left wing, and at least some Jews realize that the Democrats’ philosophy of a more flaccid projection of U.S. power internationally – as evidenced by their desire for disproportionate reductions in the defense budget — may gravely redound to the detriment of Israel and the United States, too.

So, who will leave the Democrats first: Blacks or Jews? Although many in both groups have good reason to, a rational outside observer would probably conclude that the Jews have more reason to.

But it’s still a toss-up. Increasing numbers of blacks may realize over time that the Democrats don’t serve their group or individual interests; most Jews may already realize that the party does not serve theirs in any tangible way, but their Democrat affiliation serves them on a psychological level, as they see themselves as on “the right side,” or with the party that “does good.”

Jews Hope their Prayers Won’t Be Answered

September 6, 2011

Or, What’s the Matter with the Jews?

Last year, in Is Rabbi Ovadia the Only Jew Who Reads the Prayer Book?, I noted the absurdity of the situation where so-called Jewish leaders inveighed against Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s comments that were entirely consistent with traditional Jewish prayers.

Unfortunately, though, the problem is broader than simply Rabbi Ovadia’s comments and his critics.  In fact, when it comes to Israel, the dominant attitudes of the American Jewish community are stark variance with the Jewish liturgy.

The Siddur Sim Shalom includes the language in the Birkat HaMazon, “Rebuild Jerusalem, the holy city, soon, in our day.” It does not say “Rebuild West Jerusalem.”

A side note – is it not interesting how the media routinely refers to all sorts of cities in Iraq and elsewhere in the Moslem world as “holy cities”, but somehow you have never heard them refer to Jerusalem as a holy city?)

In the Musaf Amidah we pray, “May it be your will… to lead us in joy to our land and to settle us within our borders.” I have also seen the language “Restore us to our homeland.”  None of the liturgy says “settle us within the 1949 armistice lines” or the non-existent “1967 borders.”

I do not know which is more rote, the recital of these traditional prayers that the mendicants actually hope will not be fulfilled, or their votes come election day for the Democrat lever.  (Granted, of course, that many of these “liberal” paragons of Jewish values never set foot in a shul.)

Several years ago, the book What’s the matter with Kansas? received wide note for asking why Kansans seemed to vote against their interests by voting Republican.  The answer was that the Kansans really were voting in line with their interests.  (If that was not obvious when the book was published, it certainly should be now!)

The  analogous yet more trenchant question is  “what’s the matter with the Jews?”  Large majority of American Jews continue to vote Democrat in the face of the continuing overwhelming evidence that the Democrats are in step with the Islamo-leftist axis, constantly working against the interests of American Jews and Israel.   (That it is also working against the interests of America as a whole and the western world is also true, but that is a somewhat different point to defend.)

Two additional recent datums illustrating the point are that every Democrat in the Congress opposed the recent UN Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act bill to restrict UN funding of anti-American, anti-Israel or anti-semitic activities.  The Obama/Hillary Clinton administration also opposed another recent bill that would stop it from giving money to the Palestinian Authority that could be used for terrorism, as Hillary said that would keep her from being able to do her job.

In sum, when leftist Jews berate Jewish conservatives or the Israeli government as betraying Jewish values, be assured they are simply displaying their own confusion between Jewish values, which their nemeses are likely upholding, but which they do not share, and their own, very different, leftist ideology.

In fact, it is an arrogant and erroneous display of chutzpah to assume that Jewish values are represented by American liberals or the Democrat party.  The primary area in which these people display any kind of liberalism is in their acceptance of the hatred displayed by their fellow “liberals”/leftists towards Israel, Jews, and Republicans and conservatives.

You Heard it Here First!

September 1, 2011

Some of the statements I made in my articles posted on these pages in recent years undoubtedly struck some readers, and especially non-readers, as outlandish.  But, sad to say, the intervening time has confirmed the truth of more of them than any of us would have liked.  Some examples follow:

With Some of the Friends We Have, We Barely Need Enemies, posted  November 30, 2009, which itself referred to previous articles I posted, discussed how Jewish and ostensibly pro-Israel organizations were actually working against those interests.  Subsequently, facts about the true nature of groups such as J-Street were revealed, prompting some, such as New York Congressman Gary Ackerman, to disavow their ties to it.

What is a “Supporter of Israel”?, originally published in 2006, was one of those articles referenced in the 2009 column.  It called to task America’s largest synagogue movement, the Union for Reform Judaism for its anti-Israel activities.  There, things have gone from bad to worse, as Eric Yoffie, its at best lukewarm to Israel leader, has been replaced by J-Streeter Jacobs.

Earlier this year, Caroline Glick wrote documenting Jewish groups aiding the enemy, and noted the formation of the Committee Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art, established specifically to end Jewish Federation funding for anti-Israel activities.  The Washington DC Jewish Community Center’s Federation-funded Theater J was a prime offender.

On October 4, 2009 I raised the provocative question, Who Is More Pro-Israel, Your Rabbi Or Rush Limbaugh?, using Limbaugh as shorthand for the genre of conservative talk radio hosts.  Since then, on the one hand we have seen the brave and staunch support for Israel shown by talker Glenn Beck, and on the other, the revelation of the sad yet successful leftist/anti-Israel indoctrination of rabbinical students in some seminaries.

Further, I discovered an old file of material from a “Zionism” course I took in the mid-1970’s at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary.  So what did I find that our “leaders” indoctrinated us with, even back then?  Yes, the Israel-hatred of Chomsky!

The New American Jewish Bible, August 23, 2009, stated that the New York Times and other analogous left-wing  media outlets had supplanted the Torah in large parts of the Jewish community.  So I was not totally shocked when in June of this year, the newly named editor of that newspaper, born-Jewish Jill Abramson proclaimed “In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion.”  But somehow, I have a feeling that I should be able to collect from her for plagiarism.

[Apparently, saying the Times substitutes for religion is still not PC enough for them to publicly admit, so the “Newspaper of Record” removed it from the on-line record.  Or is it their fear of being called on her plagiarism?]

Were Jewish Obama Voters Fooled?, dated August 23, 2009, asked a question that has become much more common since.  I concluded many were not fooled, but some now say they were.

Is Obama Stupid?, September 22, 2009, came to the affirmative conclusion.  His sheen of intellectual brilliance has by now worn off among some of his erstwhile worshippers.  [Perhaps his refusal to release his academic records now seems wiser every day.]  As documented in instances far too numerous to note here, what his admirers derided as the “cowboy diplomacy” of his predecessor has been replaced by Obama’s Cretin Diplomacy.

J’Accuse! of August 28, 2009 stated that much of the anti-Israel invective found around the world was actually anti-semitic in nature.  In the last two years, many more thinkers and authors have realized that and said so.

Posted last year, Goodbye, America asked whether America was at a turning point, beyond which recovery from the critical mass of leftist momentum which has infested it would be close to impossible.  Since then, millions of Americans, led by Tea Party adherents, have realized this danger.  One obvious manifestation is the now widely apparent looming menace of the ever-increasing national debt.

Perhaps the most prescient of my earlier writings was Israel (and America) Will Rue the Day that George W. Bush Leaves Office, published in mid-2008 on the now defunct israelenews.com.  The column made clear that none of the leading US presidential candidates was either truly good for America or Israel.  And by any measure, Obama was without question the worst of the lot.  So it did not take long before, as his mentor Pastor Jeremiah Wright had said, “the chickens were coming home to roost.”

My assertions here that these astonishing developments are now more widely acknowledged and documented may warrant even more incredulity than when I raised them originally as simply my conclusions.  But they are now easily verified to anyone’s satisfaction simply with some Google searching.

As a final note, I am aware that displaying a jaundiced eye is not particularly conducive to popularity; neither is being right.

The Top Ten Reasons Jews Voted for Obama

August 31, 2010

With the November U.S. Congressional elections approaching, it may be instructive to examine why the approximately 80% of Jewish Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 did so.  Thus, below are ten major reasons.  They are not in any particular order, but the reader is invited to assign rankings based on his experience with these voters.

Some of the reasons are obviously related to each other, and most of these voters chose him for a combination of these arguments:

  1. “Obama will support Israel and be good for Israel.”
  2. “He will screw Israel, but that will be good for Israel.”
  3. “I don’t care about Israel.”
  4. “If McCain wins, he will pack the courts with right wing extremists like himself (the Democrat Senate, whose approval would be required for confirmation notwithstanding).  And that would be a grave blow to “Jewish values” such as homosexual marriage and abortion on demand.”
  5. “Obama is so cool; everybody I know is voting for him.”  (He can read a teleprompter.)
  6. “He is the Democrat.  I have always voted Democrat.  What, change now?”
  7. “He is black!”
  8. “Not voting for him would be racist!”
  9. “It’s a vote towards tikkun olam.  That stems from my inherited yet possibly subconscious socialistic proclivities, so obviously shared by Obama (e.g. more ‘spread the wealth around’).”
  10. “The media I follow (major newspapers and radio and TV networks) blessed him.  (See The New American Jewish Bible.) They said he’s kosher.  In fact, even better than kosher – he’s great! They revealed no skeletons in his closet of any kind.”

Voters throughout the world often make choices for fatuous and superficial reasons. (Isn’t it interesting how often the candidate with the best hair wins?)  The 2008 U.S. elections were a good example of superficial decision-making by voters.  Perhaps enough of them have seen the tragic results for American liberty and prosperity (not to mention Israel’s security — e.g. think “Iran”) to help stem that negative tide with their next votes come November.

We Warned You — So Now What?

March 18, 2010

In mid-2008, I published Israel (and America) Will Rue the Day that George W. Bush Leaves Office on the now defunct israelenews.com.  The column made clear that while none of the leading US presidential candidates were either truly good for American or friends of Israel, and by any measure, Obama was without question the worst of the lot.  So now, as his mentor Pastor Jeremiah Wright has said, “the chickens are coming home to roost.”

But do American Jews, who overwhelmingly supported Wright’s parishioner, care?  Outside of an uncharacteristic objection from the ADL’s Abe Foxman, who usually saves his protestations for conservatives, and a handful of Congressional Democrats, I haven’t heard many objections  from Obama’s court Jews.  And why not?  That was answered in Were Jewish Obama Voters Fooled?, published last year.

Nobody should be surprised by the actions of Obama and his team of the Islamo-leftist coalition.  Saddened and worried, yes, of course, but surprised, no.  As Obama lapped up the anti-Israel venom of his Pastor Wright for 20 years and other like-minded friends, of course he would come to have a one-sided view, and it wouldn’t be kind to Israel.

You may remember his apologists and other “experts” telling us:

  • Obama wants to be a domestic president, and will be too busy to worry about the poor Palestinians.
  • Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, China, et. al. would be more important mid east and world problems, and the Palestinians would take a back burner.
  • the Washington establishment would force him to take a largely traditional, consensus position.
  • Obama learned his lesson after his full ‘settlement freeze’ demand fiasco, and would now moderate his position.

So here we go again — more demands for unreciprocated concessions by Israel.  We know that, unfortunately, hatred of Jews and Israel is often ingrained and reflexive, no matter how irrational.

Because it is an error to ascribe rationality to others, especially an enemy, it is an error to assume that once they learn the facts or the folly of their ways, they will change course.  Perhaps a mild case of the suicide bomber?

So what can Israel do?  Be guided by the maxim that the sooner Arabs and the world accept Israel’s legitimacy, its strength, and its permanence, the sooner peace will be possible.  (Thus little wonder Arabs began rioting coincident with the Obama administration’s harsh words for Israel.  And also not so coincidentally, just as the Gazans intensified their rocket attacks on the very day Obama won election in November 2008, which immediately precipitated the Gaza War.)

So no more concessions for nothing!  And because it was not news to anybody who cared to pay attention to the facts that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and within its sovereignty, Israel should NOT have apologized even for the timing of the announcement of the Jerusalem apartment construction approval.   To the many clowns who call it a “settlement,” the Western Wall must be also be a “settlement.”  Israel must tell the world the area is part of Jewish Israel, to butt out of its internal affairs, to get over it, and if they don’t like it, they can lump it.  And if they want concessions from Israel, they can come back and ask once the Arabs actually make some.  And that doesn’t mean some two-bit gulf state allowing a one-bit “interest section”.

For starters, it might mean a formal recognition by Israel’s enemies of its rights as a Jewish state, a genuine ending of Palestinian groups’ charters calling for the destruction of Israel, and a real end to PA and state-sponsored incitement.

Israel’s enemies think pre-conditions for talks are a good idea. How about these for pre-conditions?

Were Jewish Obama Voters Fooled?

August 23, 2009
Barack Obama won the votes of a large majority of American Jews, despite the strident warnings of a small minority that he was no friend of Israel – and in fact would be a danger to her.

In a July 19 op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Jonathan Tobin, executive editor of Commentary magazine, and one of today’s most astute observers of the American Jewish community, stated that “there is no way that he would have won as much as three-quarters of the Jewish vote had not most believed him when he claimed he was a supporter of Israel.”

Obama’s actual position on Israel has become clear as he passed his six-month mark in office, and it certainly seems at variance with Obama the candidate’s assurances of his commitments to Israel and her security.

That might indicate that many of his Jewish voters were taken in. Yet it is hard to fathom how an ostensibly intelligent, engaged community could be so wrong in the face of so many clear warning signs. (To recount just one: Obama’s 20-year membership in the church of the anti-Israel and anti-semitic Reverend Wright, which was also the single largest beneficiary of his charitable giving.)

While Obama’s Republican opponent, John McCain was rarely regarded as an ideal candidate, neither was he ever seriously considered a threat to Israel as was Obama. That leaves two alternative explanations to Obama’s Jewish voters being fooled by his campaign rhetoric.

One possibility is that these voters tend to support the position that Obama’s hard-nosed, strong arm tactics against Israel, and only Israel, coupled with his soft approach towards America’s and Israel’s enemies, really is in Israel’s interest. But it seems harder to justify that fatuous argument with every passing day.

The one remaining possibility as to how American Jews could have voted for Obama if the were not deceived by his campaign rhetoric regarding Israel seems to be the most plausible: While Tobin wrote, “Contrary to the boasts of the left and the fears of the right, most Jewish Democrats still care deeply about Israel,” that appears to be overly optimistic. The record of recent years just does not demonstrate much support for that argument.

The attachment to Israel of younger American Jews, in particular, is widely acknowledged to be problematic. And among much of the older generation, Jews may say they “care deeply about Israel,” but they don’t actually walk the walk very far to help her.

When I heard rumblings that some Americans were beginning to have “buyer’s remorse” about Obama, I began posing the question to my Jewish acquaintances. I could find no regrets among any of those who voted for him, nor did my Republican-leaning friends find any among their acquaintances. Nobody admitted to being deceived by Obama’s proclamations of support for Israel.

Recall that the obverse was also true: When it was patently clear that President George W. Bush was one of the best friends in that office Israel ever had, most American Jews continued to shun him nonetheless (although he did garner a slightly larger share of the Jewish vote than did the next Republican candidate, McCain). So Bush’s support for Israel did not win him the succor of legions of American Jews, just as Obama’s hostility to Israel today is not costing him his overwhelming Jewish backing.

This picture leads one reluctantly to conclude that most of Obama’s Jewish voters were not fooled by his campaign, but rather that, unfortunately, Israel is just not a major concern or issue to them. And that also explains why we are not seeing from his Jewish supporters the widespread and strong objections to his policies that Jonathan Tobin, and others, are looking for.

What is a “Supporter of Israel”?

August 23, 2009

Israel has no shortage of avowed detractors. It also has many genuine avid supporters. Even more people and institutions claim to “support Israel.” But what does “supporting Israel” really mean?

Sadly, and insidiously, in many cases, it means very little. It is the proverbial “talking the talk” without the willingness to “walk the walk.” Certainly, the climate in some circles, notably academia and the media, is apt to make the malleable fall on the denigrate-Israel team. But given the circles in which some others travel, it evidently is more comfortable to claim status as a supporter of Israel, rather than not.

A recent poll commissioned by The Israel Project illustrates that point: Eighty-two percent of the American Jews that took part in the survey said they support Israel, with most of them characterizing themselves as “strong supporters.” Yet when asked if they engage in conversation about Israel or defend Israel while talking to non-Jews, most of the participants replied negatively. Thus it appears that the majority of American Jews claim they “support Israel,” yet they are not even willing to “talk the talk”, much less “walk the walk.”

In life generally, it is important to know who your real allies are, and who are on the team or are friends in name only — whom you can count on, and who will dilute the effort; who will help, and who will not. And you want to know whether your contributions to an ostensibly pro-Israel organization are likely to help Israel’s cause, or be used in the service of another agenda.

While recognizing there are many ways to support Israel, here are some guidelines to judge whether one is a genuine supporter:

Action

What does the individual or organization actually do to support Israel, beyond claiming to be a supporter? If the answer is little or nothing, the verdict is self-evident.

A discussion of specific types of activities follows.

Speech

What does the individual or organization actually say beyond that he “supports Israel”? Something like “I support Israel but not its government,” or “I support Israel but not the occupation,” or “I support Israel but I want it to change”?

That is not support. It is a realm of the double standard applied to Israel. These “supporters” insist on virtual perfection for Israel (and, of course, only Israel). In this mindset, Israel and only Israel can be considered supported with a reservation, if not downright opposition appended in the same sentence. It makes as much sense as “I love that restaurant, but the food is terrible.” For another example, does any UN supporter ever say, “We should rely more on the UN, but the oil-for-food-scandal is a travesty”? (Not that any of Israel’s misdeeds compare to the oil-for-food-scandal.)

“I support Israel but not its government” is a common refrain, but most of these “supporters” repeating this mantra were saying the same thing of Israel’s previous governments led by Ehud Olmert, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak, and every Israeli government for years before that.

Contributions and Membership

What organizations does the individual support with contributions and membership? Any pro-Israel organizations – groups that actually work on behalf of Israel?  A few that come are Friends of the IDF, Stand With Us, the Zionist Organization of America, and Honest Reporting. Or are groups such as these disdained and scorned as “extremist,” considered unworthy of support for some other reason, or perhaps just not considered important enough?

Of course, support of any Israeli organizations that don’t seek to “change” or tear down the state is also a mark of a true “supporter of Israel.” There are, of course, innumerable such Israeli organizations, such as Magen David Adom, One Family Fund, and Palestinian Media Watch.

Or does the “supporter” find that non-Israel causes always have a higher priority? Or, even worse, is the individual more comfortable with, and thus a contributor to organizations with an anti-Israel agenda, such as Oxfam, “Human Rights Watch”, and too many others of a similar bent?

And what do the ostensibly pro-Israel organizations themselves do, when perhaps Israel’s actual supporters are not paying attention? In a 2003 case, a major U.S. Jewish organization one might have relied on to lend support to Israel was devoting its resources to filing a legal brief supporting the University of Michigan’s affirmative action program.

Many organizations that promote themselves as “supporters of Israel” or “Israel advocates” in fact operate more as largely neutral forums for Israel-related programs. They apparently feel compelled to provide a balance of speakers with some providing an obligatory bashing of Israel, to offset pro-Israel aspects of their programs. Apparently, for these groups, it is too politically incorrect to include only pro-Israel voices.

Somehow, compared to these “Israel Advocacy” organizations, advocates” of other entities don’t as often feel compelled to gratuitously invite speakers or authors to bash the subject of their advocacy. Do other “advocates”, perhaps your college’s alumni association or any chamber of commerce invite even lukewarm speakers? Not likely.

Then, according to the Forward, there was the case of America’s largest synagogue movement, the Union for Reform Judaism, representing 900 congregations and 1.5 million followers. It criticized Congress “for passing one-sided pro-Israel resolutions.” Maybe the Union for Reform Judaism (erroneously) thinks that it supports Israel, and that action is an example of doing so.

But probably most of the Union’s members did not even know of that action. And while undoubtedly some would have approved, others would not have. Did any ostensibly pro-Israel member congregations that were aware of the Union’s action repudiate it (much less withdraw from the Union)? Did any congregants press their congregations to do so?

In fact, many non-orthodox Jewish congregations appear to have a minimal concern for Israel, at most. That logically mirrors their congregants’ attitudes as revealed by the Israel Project’s poll. Action to support Israel just doesn’t cut it along with feel-good activities such as bingo and casino nights, and other, more “liberal” social action projects.

It goes without saying that “ethnic cleansing” in Darfur is commonly protested, but “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza is one of the few areas where these congregations did “support Israel.”

A number of congregations offer Israel token support, but may consider that support as generous. Many are willing to keep their Israeli flag in their sanctuary, but in many cases this is a holdover from years past when supporting Israel was less controversial.

Another example offered as congregational “support for Israel” is that of a 300-plus family congregation that plants one $7 tree in Israel for each of a few dozen B’nai Mitvot each year. In fact, that practice is a largely a symbolic gesture, and not one that provides any meaningful aid to the state or its people.

Media

Where does the “supporter of Israel” get his news?  The old mainstream media, such as most major newspapers, the BBC, or CNN?  It is very hard to be a true supporter of Israel while relying on these sources, as they relentlessly vilify and inculcate a subliminal or overt “Israel is bad” message.

A true supporter of Israel is apt to rely on niche sources of news and commentary that are more likely to present Israel in a more fair or even favorable light.

Politics

Does the “supporter of Israel” support, accept, or demonize Israel’s friends, such as are often found among conservative Christians and conservatives in general? Does the “supporter of Israel” support the war against Islamofascist terrorism? Or did the “supporter of Israel” cast his vote and his lot with anti-war groups laden with Israel vilification and anti-semitism?

Of course, a large majority of Israelis themselves prefer the former to the latter.

Shopping

Does the “supporter of Israel” seek Israeli products when shopping? For example, many U.S. supermarkets in metropolitan areas with a significant Jewish population carry a number of products made in Israel that supporters may purchase.

In contrast, I recall an instance of a Jewish Federation distributing giveaways made in China. When queried about the possibility of sourcing trinkets from Israel rather than China, Federation headquarters personnel reacted as if the question were from an alien.

Travel

Does the traveling “supporter of Israel” ever go to Israel, or is everywhere else a higher priority?

Investing

Is a more-than-trivial part of the “supporter of Israel’s” portfolio invested in Israel?

Investing in Israel is not difficult. Beyond the well-known Israel Bonds, there are many Israeli companies traded on other markets, with readily available information. In fact, the NASDAQ hosts more Israeli companies than any other nationality, save for the US. American mutual funds of Israeli securities are also available.

In Sum

These are among the factors that tend to indicate whether an individual or organization actually “supports Israel,” or just pays it lip service. If a consideration of these factors spurs anyone to realize that he can do more to genuinely support Israel, all the better.

The New American Jewish Bible

August 23, 2009

The New American Jewish Bible

I regret to report on the ascendence of an American Jewish version of “Replacement Theology” and a corresponding new American Jewish Bible. These have been adopted primarily in the Reform and secular sectors, as well as in the overlapping wider societal groups of Democrat Party faithful, academia, and the media establishment.

The new American Jewish Bible is the newspaper, and to a lesser degree, broadcast media outlets such as National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System, and commercial television networks. But this new American Jewish Bible is actually a false prophet.

As there are different translations of both the Torah and the Christian Bible, the newspaper comes in different geographic versions (New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc.). And the broadcast networks each proselytize different versions of the same message.

This new American Jewish Bible pervasively influences, if not regulates, the life of those who have succumbed to its dominion. How often are you approached with the question, “did you see in The Paper…”, or “The Paper said…”? Undoubtedly much more often than “The Torah says…”.

How often do these people take their cues from The Paper, versus the Torah, or any other authoritative Judaic source? How much time do they spend reading The Paper versus any genuine Judaic source?

It has been claimed that Islam has been “hijacked” by extremists. While that may be true, it is clear that Judaism has been hijacked — by leftist interests, including the media. How else can you explain, for example, the widespread support in the Jewish community for same sex marriage, when the Torah dictates quite the opposite?

Readers of The Paper are influenced by it in all-encompassing areas of life, from public and political affairs to pop culture (e.g. this is a good play; that is a bad movie), science (“global warming” is real and bad), and even what to eat (recipes).

Indeed, some years ago, The Paper in all its geographic variants deliberately determined that it could best hook the most readers by diversifying from a focus on news to expound on a wide variety of lifestyle areas.

After faithfully subscribing to and reading the same newspaper every day of every week for decade after decade, it is only natural that most people would come to think what The Paper tells them to think, what to think about, and how to think, day after day, decade after decade.

Of course, some may religiously follow The Paper or their broadcaster because they found it to provide the views they thought to be valid, or because it provided what they wanted to hear. But these faithful probably do not represent a majority of readers and viewers – if only because historically there has been very real little choice in the range of views available in the media.

An irony that would be amusing if not for the severity of its implications relates to the view of society’s elites that religious fundamentalists tend to be uneducated and uninformed. The unfortunate fact is that it is the followers of the American media, The Paper and the broadcasters, who are remarkably ignorant and uninformed.

Just one example:  Polls reported that the majority of Obama voters did not even know that the Democrat Party had the majority control of Congress for the last two years. This misinformation did not stem from these voters studying the Torah; they were being “informed” by The Paper and the broadcasters. An obvious conclusion is that in informing the voting public of the fundamental issues in the election, The Paper (in all its geographic variants) and the broadcasters were miserable failures.

And these media to which so many American Jews look with reverence are the comfortable home for every variety of Israel-hater and anti-semite. For a taste of the prevalence of the Israel-haters and anti-semites getting their “information” from The Paper, take a look at the comments posted on the website of the Washington Post, for example, about any article relating to the Middle East, Israel or Jews.

While The Paper and the broadcasters have huge (although somewhat declining) followings, they are indeed false prophets. We must do all we can to counter them. That must include accepting what they or their followers say only with the greatest degree of skepticism, searching for and utilizing alternative sources of information, and working to “de-program” them and their followers at every opportunity.