The Great Pearl Clutching

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TPM Reader JS’s note is very much internal to the world of American Judaism, discussions of Zionism in the context of American politics. If you’re not Jewish, a few of the references may be obscure. (The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is a century-old organization once led by Louis Brandeis which for the last thirty years has been owned and controlled by one guy, Morton Klein, who basically uses it as a cudgel for right-wing politics in the U.S.) But the general points should be familiar and they’re correct. A lot of folks have suddenly found out Trump might be a bad guy just as the stink of a loser is all over him.

As you may remember from emails I’ve sent over the years, I’m on the very Pro-Israel side of politics, so much that it really is hard to discuss this with most Democrats, at least those who aren’t Jewish. Even then, I’m on the “right” end. I don’t like Bibi and this new government is looking pretty awful, but I just have to say that this whining in the press from the ZOA is vomit inducing. Now? Now they turn on Trump? Oh yeah, it was a bridge too far to be with West and Fuentes. Give me a break. Even Michael Oren figured this out 3 years ago. They smell the stench of a loser on him just like some of these others, that’s all. There are tons of ex-neoconish Republicans out there who are the hard core of #NeverTrump who are so exactly because of his constant footsie playing with antisemites, among other things. It’s not like this was some massive deception we are only now awake to.

What constantly enrages me about these Likudnik-GOP groups (that have nothing to do with Zionism or Orthodoxy anymore, (just as many Jews entire Jewish identity is Israeli politics and couldn’t remember a brakhah to save their skins) is how they always sneer at you for not understanding the very clever bargains they strike. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been condescendingly told as if I was a five year old that because Israel is small we need all the allies we can get, even if it’s Christian millennialists who want to spark a war in Israel to immanentize the eschaton, or a guy who coasted into office on the back of redhats posting antisemitic memes of giant-nosed Nazi caricatures, which, if he got his way on enough things, would probably result in many of us moving to Israel.

No, I understand just fine. It’s that you hate other Jews, especially the Reform, you’re full of Neo-mystical Chabad-babble because they are the Jewish equivalent of the Saudi-funded Wahhabi missions all over the world, and you want right-wing social policy in the US as long as it’s superficially “Judeo-Christian”—and you bamboozle us with the Israel rhetoric since we are all a bit ashamed of the antisemitism and anti-zionism on the left. And it works! If you’re like me, you could name a dozen Jewish friends who this works on to some extent. They’re the typical latte-sipping, Subaru-driving, crunchy progressives about everything else, but they get bamboozled into thinking these alliances might be the thread that Israel’s fate is hanging by. I’m talking about heart doctors, Jewish non-profit presidents, lawyers. Not your typical MAGA rally attendee.

Let’s accept for the moment the premise that Obama’s policy towards Israel was “bad” just for the sake of the argument. Obama never wavered from sending weapons or pledging to defend Israel militarily. Does anyone doubt that? Whether Trump does depends on which side of the bed he wakes up on and whether he’s mad at Jared or not. Yet this man is the great savior of Israel?

Nah, that’s just the lies these people tell themselves to avoid looking in the face that they’ve become one of the classic Jewish tropes: the Court Jew who thinks he will be spared when they come for us. 

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