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Israeli/Not an Israeli: Lives that Do and Don’t Count in the Jewish American Playbook

Posted on March 19 2011 10:46 am
Susan L.M. Goldberg blogs frequently under her own name as well as her alter-ego, the Angry Jewish Woman. She is also a contributor to Our Last Stand, a Generation-Y Conservative blog. Pay her a visit (and a Like) at Facebook.
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Pop culture’s hip new trend is to fight back against bullying, but nothing much is new in the Jewish world.  Perhaps that is why a video of a kid beating up a bully can go viral while the story of five tragic murders of innocent Israeli civilians is passed off rather quietly.  After all, where’s the news in the story of another family of Israeli settlers being murdered in their home?  It isn’t as if they belong there anyway–they were asking for it.  So, let’s move on to more important topics, like talking about how bad bullying is.  Right?

The truth is that the worst and most blatant case of bullying on a worldwide scale happens every day, right under America’s collective nose.  The worst part of it is that the ones being bullied are so punch drunk they don’t even realize what is happening anymore.  They’ll just do whatever it takes to make the beating stop.

American news outlets like the LA Times described the Fogel family as “Jewish settlers” murdered in their “tightly guarded compound.”  Explaining to their readers that, “Most of the international community…views Israel’s settlements as illegal,” as if international opinion is justification for cold-blooded, anti-Semitic-fueled murder.  Caroline Glick smartly contrasts this report with the bulk of European coverage that simply began with the aggravating fact that the Netanyahu government permitted 400 more homes to be built in Judea and Samaria, remarking, “at least [The Times] mentioned the murders.”

And, at least the Times–unlike Israel’s own Ha’aretz–did not go so far as to use the horrific nuclear events in Japan as a metaphor for the supposed “threat” of a few thousand Israelis risking life and limb to live in desert outposts.

The coverage, or lack thereof, of the murder of a family of Israelis by bloodthirsty anti-Semites sends a clear message to Israel and Jews everywhere: If you’re being bullied, don’t expect the international community to be on your side.

The real news, however, comes from the Jewish American reaction.  According to the New York Jewish Week, the newly formed opinion of the Israel Action Network (a joint effort of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Jewish Federations of North America) is that:

“One can support a targeted boycott of Israeli settlements and even a cultural ban against the West Bank settlement of Ariel–as long as one also supports Israel as a democratic Jewish state.”

In other words, in an attempt to have their cake and eat it, too, the American Jewish community has effectively decided who is and isn’t an Israeli in their Playbook of International Politics.  Ironically, it all boils down to who does and doesn’t acknowledge the idea that Israel should be a Jewish state.  By dealing from the “Jew/Not a Jew” deck they are playing into the hands of the same “international community” that justified, for all intents and purposes,  the murder of innocent Jewish Israelis because they dared to walk on the wrong side of the world-drawn line in the sand.

And I thought the IDF was the organization responsible for enacting apartheid policies.

This takes the culturally Jewish in-fighting over who does and doesn’t count at the bema to a new and dangerous level.  In the world of bullying there are bystanders and upstanders, yet this unspoken acquiescence to the BDS movement by two major Jewish American organizations signals their election of the dirtiest role of all: the sellout. Abraham Lincoln once warned a warring nation that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  It was a warning first given from an Israeli king to his son, one that was published for his nation to hear.

The real question is:  Amidst all the infighting, have we lost the ability to listen?

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