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Op-Ed: What Really Bothers Young US Liberal Jews about Bennett

Can liberal US Jews bear an Israeli who is not filled with guilt about what Israel has supposedly done?
Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 11:49 AM


Some uncivilized leftists disrupted a speech by Naftali Bennett, an Israeli Cabinet member and head of the Religious Zionist Bayit Yehudi party, this week during his speech at the final event of the year for MASA, an organization that seeks to "inspire the next generation of Jewish leaders and strengthen their connection to the Jewish people and to Israel."

Bennett was there representing the Israeli government, which funds the MASA program. While the main disrupter compared himself modestly to none other than Martin Luther King - Peter Beinart’s Open Zion went one step farther and posted an article entitled “Why Don’t Young Diaspora Jews Like Naftali Bennett”

In the time-honored way of Jewish leftists who espouse a double standard, and ignoring minor issues like Palestinian rock-throwers, Syrian civil wars which kill tens of thousands and plenty of other terrorist incidents on the Arab side of this conflict -  aimed at one another and against Jewish civilians - these leftists yelled at Bennett about the “occupation.”

And of course Beinart's Open Zion pontificates that “many Diaspora Jews—particularly American Jews—find Bennett a pill almost too hard to swallow.”  Beinart, who wrote "The Crisis of Zionism" also finds the majority of Israeli Jews hard to swallow.

The site then quoted an organizer of the protest about what he didn't like about Bennett – and it showed what makes him a real threat to this group. Why?  “Because he manages to put sinister policies in seemingly apolitical language."

The reality is that Young American Jews don’t like Bennett because he is a proud Jew – one who stands up and tells the truth in an unapologetic manner and in good English. (Message to Beinart & Crew – it’s not “Diaspora” Jews.  There are very few far left French or British Jews remaining – it is AMERICANS.).  And these American Jews are assimilating in mass numbers – just maybe that’s another reason they don’t like Naftali Bennett. Maybe these fools don’t like him because he is a proud Jew who wears a kippa. He speaks perfect English and looks like them – but is a clear headed, non guilt-ridden Jew.


Naftali Bennett has wisely asked: “What does the world want from us; what do the Arab nations want from this small Jewish State?”
Perhaps these uber-liberals, comprised of Hashomer Hatzair and others, are concerned because Bennett is indeed part of the new Israeli leadership which understands and cares about the Public Relations image of Israel.  He founded “Israel Sheli” (MyIsrael), a network of pro-Israel activists committed to spreading Zionism online.  They work extensively in the digital media arena - from Wikipedia to Twitter to Facebook – "to present a balanced view online of Israel and Israeli PR.”

As Open Zion said “..most American Jews are overwhelmingly liberal. For them, the aforementioned Bennettian rhetoric is anathema.” And indeed, while that may be accurate, are not these armchair liberals not obliged to support Israeli democracy? Have not the people of the "start-up nation" – including so many of the young in Israel -  voted Naftali Bennett? Does that not merit respect for their will?

41-year old Naftali Bennett served in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit of the Israel Defense Forces, and at the age of 27 founded a company which he sold 6 years later for $145 million. He lived in New York City for a few years building the company, until he returned to Israel where he fought in the Second Lebanon War and then served as Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff. This man is independently wealthy, self-made and driven strictly by Zionism.

Bennett is hard for the left to take. He doesn't fit the stereotype they have created.

Naftali Bennett has wisely asked: “What does the world want from us; what do the Arab nations want from this small Jewish State?”

One may also ask what the far left wants from Bennett. He has been elected and is a Jewish role model for many of his age group.  Like him or don’t, he is headed places and is clearly a proud Jew. That is indeed more than can be said for the self-righteous liberal losers who disrupted an official Israeli government representative.

Many of these “young Diaspora Jews” don’t like Judaism either – so what is the big deal if they don’t like Bennett?

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Follow him in twitter here