Leftists protest in Tel Aviv against
Leftists protest in Tel Aviv againstFlash 90

The Jewish people pride themselves on their historical memory. Anyone who has witnessed a Pesach seder or a candle-lighting during Hanukkah knows how moving and inspiring this memory is. Nevertheless, there are areas in which viewing the present with a rear-view mirror rather than looking forward needlessly aggravates Jewish suffering.

Many Jews, particularly among the Diaspora elite, conflate Judaism and Jewishness with leftist values. Stuck in 19th- and early 20th-century Europe, they see anyone fighting for the "underdog" and the "underprivileged" as a soulmate, friend, and natural ally of the Jewish people.

Attempts to disabuse them of this certainty and inform them of post-1967 history are met with a blend of incredulity and sarcasm: The valid idea that fundamentalist white Christians are fonder of Jews than socialist activists is seen as no less absurd than the notion that right-wing Republicans are more concerned about violence against Jews than human rights activists.

Alas, after October 7th, these realities are no longer deniable. If more Jewish intellectuals were fond of linear thinking, they would realize that 2024 is not 1924 and vote accordingly. Alas, Occam’s Razor is a principle that progressives view as beneath the dignity of their redoubtable IQ.

Instead of opening their eyes, they view the disenchantment of leftists with Jews and Judaism as an unfortunate misunderstanding:

If only leftists remembered Jewish suffering at the hands of Fascism and the enormous Jewish contribution to progressive politics… If only leftists realized that Jews are not white, but that they are actually POC… If only leftists understood that all respectable Jews view Netanyahu, Smotrich, and Ben-Gvir as abominations…

Then leftists and Jews would swiftly renew their covenant of faith and shared destiny.

Such Jews fail to realize that contemporary leftist antisemitism is not the result of any misunderstanding. It is the logical and unavoidable consequence of almost everything Jews and Judaism embody. Just like Hitler’s genocidal antisemitism was not a caprice of folly, but the lucid agenda of a leader determined to replace Biblical ethics with racial Darwinism, so is leftist antisemitism the rational outcome of the contemporary left’s worldview.

What do Jews embody? The idea that by dint of education and industry, poverty and discrimination can be defeated; the idea that minorities can thrive despite not belonging to a hegemonic majority; the idea that welfare and affirmative action cannot make up for broken homes and run-ins with the law; the idea that desert and democracy can bloom in the most inhospitable regions given the right values and priorities.

What does Judaism since time immemorial champion? G-d as the foundation of ethics; objective truth as an axiom of knowledge; free will as the cornerstone of human freedom and human dignity; traditional family structures as the bedrock of a healthy society; color-blind justice and meritocracy; the notion that universalism and particularism, nationalism and internationalism, justice and mercy, women and men, Jews and Gentiles complement each other and that their differences need to be respected rather than erased.

In other words, Jews and Judaism are antithetical to all pillars of contemporary leftism. As long as Judaism and Jews exist and thrive, the notion that human redemption will be delivered by erasing all human differences and through ever higher taxes, more quotas, and systematic legal discrimination will not prevail.

For these reasons, Jews who go out of their way to highlight the rights and achievements of LGBT, Arab, and Ethiopian Israelis or who beg to be viewed as POC rather than as whites are wasting their time. Just like German Jews who highlighted the heroism of Jewish soldiers during World War I were mocked by Nazis, Jewish attempts to prove their progressive credentials just trigger accusations of tokenism, pink-washing, and colonialist appropriation.

The contemporary left has correctly understood that a world that takes the Hebrew Bible seriously, that admires and rewards individual grit and effort, and where Israel succeeds against all odds, is a world that will never take intersectionality seriously and even less so the myth that all global problems originate in the misdeeds of white cisgender men.

In other words, contemporary leftists have good reasons to hate Jews and Judaism as deeply as do Nazis. It is up to Jews after October 7th to realize this, and the fact that leftists being less upfront about their hatred is another excellent reason to run away from them rather than to grovel at their feet.

Rafael Castro graduated from Yale and Hebrew University. A proud Noahide, Rafael can be reached at [email protected]