First, a word of reality. Inasmuch as a Jew is, by definition of three thousand years, that is the halakhic definition, only a person born to a Jewish mother or converted to Judaism according to normative Judaic law, let it be understood that whole swaths of the J Street membership are not even Jews. They either are outright non-Jews or people born to non-Jewish mothers who never converted properly — or never even went through the conversion motions at all. Whole segments of J Street simply are not Jews. Yes, George Soros has been exposed for having been a major funder of J Street. But whole swaths of the J Street membership are not even Jews.Such are those who hate the polity that Israelis overwhelmingly back.
For a week J Street vied to hurt Israel in every imaginable way within its limited capacity. It urged massive American funding for Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and his anti-Israel apparatus that rewards terrorists and their families with lifelong generous stipends for murder: Pay to Slay. Even more than that, J Street gave its very platform to Abbas, a lifelong Jew-hater whose doctoral dissertation denied the Holocaust and who, to this day, never has compromised one inch on his absurd territorial demands or demands that Israel allow millions of Arabs to enter the country to replace the Jewish majority.
Like all such Jewish haters of Jews, just like the wide swaths of pseudo-Jews in J Street, these haters come prepared to counter criticism with the line: “But I am Jewish.”
That nonsense may work for the New York Times and for leftist Jews who predominate CNN, MSNBC, so many other television news outlets, organizations like the ADL and their ilk. But it is meaningless tripe for those who think beyond slogans.
Bernie Madoff was a Jew, but that did not stop him from defrauding and almost bankrupting Ele Wiesel, Sandy Koufax, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Frank Lautenberg, Norman Braman, Yeshiva University, the American Jewish Congress, Hadassah, and a long list of Jewish icons. It just made it easier for that Jew to destroy other Jews. Karl Marx was born to Jewish parents, but his life’s writings and teachings were steeped in anti-Jewish hate. There have been Jews who were active in the American Nazi Party and even rose to be leaders. And so we find the same sickness on the American Left in droves.
What motivates them? What makes a Bernie devote so much of his public life to attacking Israel and to campaigning alongside the worst Congressional Jew-haters of our era? It can be any of so many things. He talks about how he once traveled to Israel to live in a kibbutz. So he liked that, Sha’ar Ha’amakim, a kibbutz that was so Marxist collectivist that one of its founders ultimately was convicted for spying for the Soviet Union. The kibbutz movement predominated politically in Israel at its gestation. In those years, a significant segment of Israel’s political class was socialist and indeed was friendly not only to Marxism-Communism in general but specifically to Josef Stalin. The Mapam Party — initially pro-Stalin Communists — won 19 seats in the first Knesset and, while dropping consistently, was included in all but one Israeli coalition government from 1955-1977.
Here is the full-page ad that Mapam placed to mourn the “great tragedy” of the death of Stalin, whom they described as the “Great Leader and Praised Military Tactician” and the “Great Revolutionary Warrior.” Here is another placed by the Israeli Communist Youth Movement.
Nevertheless, as with all national socialist experiments, that one also failed in time. As Stalin started murdering Jews, conducting show trials in 1953 Czechoslovakia that disproportionately targeted Jews, started murdering other Jews who had risen to the highest echelons of the Soviet Union — Kamenev, Zinoviev, Radek, Trotsky, and so many others — the Stalinism in the Israeli government waned a bit.
Over the next half century, Israel became the capitalist start-up miracle nation that would come to lead the world in so many areas of technology. So Israel did not work out the way that Bernie the Communist wanted — and Benjamin Netanyahu, probably more than any other person, shouldered the conversion of Israel’s economy from Marxism to capitalism. Accordingly, Bernie Sanders hates him and calls Bibi a racist even as Netanyahu negotiates with the Ra’am Arab Party and signs accords with Arab Muslim countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. Sanders, meanwhile moved from mixed-race Brooklyn to live in Vermont, the second Whitest state in America at 94.3 percent of the population.
This the Sanders who went to J Street to urge America to restrict aid to Israel. Elizabeth Warren did the same. And they began pontificating about “Two State Solutions” for the benefit of the same biased Left media that, in 1948, opposed a Jewish country altogether and instead gave disproportionate coverage to the American Council for Judaism, an organization of Reform rabbis and Reform temples who unequivocally opposed Zionism.
What creates such Jews? Whence stems the sickness?
There is often a deeper story about childhood conflict with parents, sometimes tough parents with hypocritical values, and a lifelong childhood determination to get back at those parents some day by hurting them deeply where they will feel it most — trampling the values they pushed. Mom and Dad mocked Judaism’s Jewish traditions and practices at home, and mocked rabbis — yet they irrationally demanded that the kids marry Jewish and support Israel. So, twenty years later, and now with their own car keys and independent income, those disgruntled children decide “Now I will marry a non-Jew, and they can’t stop me. Now I will attack Israel, and let’s see them turn blue. Tough luck on them.”
Do not doubt that much of the sickness starts there.
Others grow up in homes where they were exposed to nothing, so — for all their secular knowledge and professional training — they know absolutely nothing substantively Jewish.
Bernie Sanders was reared with a public school education augmented by weekend “Hebrew School.” He and his brother learned about Biblical Jews fighting the Pharaoh for social justice, but nothing religious resonated. True to his Marxism he later lived off his girlfriends and their earnings and assets for decades. In time, his non-Jewish wife and he honeymooned in the Soviet Union when others — Soviet Jews — were risking their freedom and their very lives desperately trying to get out, and while yet other Jews — Americans — were risking their freedom at street demonstrations trying to help them get out . . . or daringly smuggling sets of tefillin and boxes of matza into the Soviet Union.
Sanders praised Soviet bread lines as a “good thing.” He praised Castro’s Communist Cuba. He attended the Communist Sandinista celebrations in Nicaragua and praised them as heroic, encouraging them to fight to victory. As Mark Levin has noted, the entire Bernie Sanders “Bill of Rights” nearly identically parallels Articles 118-122 from Stalin’s 1936 Constitution.
In the mid-1980s I became somewhat close to the late Yitzhaq Ben-Ami, the father of Jeremy Ben-Ami who heads J Street. Yitzhaq was a Jewish patriot. He gave and risked all in the pre-state Irgun underground. He organized clandestine illegal transports to smuggle Jews out of Nazi Europe and then to defy and penetrate the British blockade of Israel’s harbors. Hitler initially was more interested in “cleansing” Europe by evacuating all its Jews than he was in murdering Jews, and Yitzhaq had to negotiate with Eichmann. Here is a compelling mini-biography of him. His book Years of Wrath, Days of Glory details more. To understand how a Jeremy Ben-Ami can run an organization that provides platforms for Abu Mazen, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren to attack Israel’s polity, while regularly endorsing such hateful policies as restricting how Israel spends American aid, is something that is outside my areas of professional training.
But let us know these things:
1. The “Two State Solution” is dead. It is not buried, not cremated, but it is dead as a door knob. Call it “Weakened for Bernie.” There are 325,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem and 475,000 more Jews living elsewhere throughout Judea and Samaria. It is absolutely impossible to uproot 800,000 Jews from their homes. Yes, Yamit’s 2,500 could be uprooted from the Sinai. Israel reached its maximum expulsion capacity when Ariel Sharon expelled 8,600 Jews from Gush Katif in Gaza in 2005 but still had not completely relocated them in new homes and jobs a decade later.
An expulsion of 800,000 Jews — one hundred times the Gush Katif expulsion — takes place only when (i) virtually the entire Arab world decides to expel all Jews from all Arab Muslim countries through a decade and more while Israel helps airlift them, or (ii) when Hitler and Eichmann devote an entire national enterprise to build rail lines, sequester cattle cars, gather Jews first in ghettoes and then do massive round-ups, build concentration camps, and then gas-and-incinerate the expelled as fast as possible to make room for the next day’s arrivals.
So debates about a “Two State Solution” are ridiculous because it is impossible. When Ferdinand and Isabella infamously expelled Spanish Jewry in 1492, that exile comprised one-tenth the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria. Yet no Arab leader will agree to allow Jews to remain in “Palestine.” So it never will happen. Those days are over, having breathed their last when Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat more than 90 percent of Judea and Samaria, plus East Jerusalem, and Arafat — bless his accursed bones — turned it all down and started an intifada.
2. Elizabeth Warren gets attention and makes shrill noise, but she has no constituency outside the extreme left. She is publicly shamed forever as a liar who claimed to be an American Indian when Harvard Law School was looking for on to hire and now has moved on from whatever tribe best suited her job application. During the 2020 Democrat Presidential primaries, she lost even her own state of Massachusetts by an embarrassing landslide. With Israel having survived Hillary Clinton and Obama, then catching its breath for four years, and now surviving Joe Biden, Israel certainly will survive Elizabeth Warren without any reservations.
3. Bernie Sanders is almost 80. Israel survived his six-month stay at the Marxist kibbutz and the whole Marxist kibbutz era. Bernie Sanders now has merited beholding a free and democratic Jewish population electing to seat 72 right-wing Knesset members in the 110 seats won by Jewish parties. That is 70 percent right wing. Israel will survive him.