What can Israeli leftists be thinking when they leave cozy Israel and venture out into the big world, where real anti-Semites are lurking with cold hearts and frowns?

Surely, these Israeli intellectuals expect to be welcomed as brothers and sisters. Same cause, right? "Israel must

Anti-Semites don't care how many times you change your name or passport (hello, Daniel Barenboim).

be dismantled."

Not so fast.

Anti-Semites don't care how many times you change your name or passport (hello, Daniel Barenboim) - you will always be Jewish. Theodor Herzl got turned off on "assimilation" and embraced (actually pioneered) Zionism when he saw how Alfred Dreyfus had been framed in "enlightened" France.

These days, there's another "affair" that's got the world talking and it's about a book festival in Turin, Italy that's dedicated to Israel, May 8 to 12, on Israel's 60th anniversary of statehood. Israeli writers Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua and David Grossman are among about a dozen other Jewish-Israeli guests.

Bless Italy for doing this, and bless the stouthearted men and women of Italy who support honoring Israel even against such denigrators as "Islamic scholar" Tariq Ramadan. (See the New York Times, which includes my comment and which the Times actually published.)

Ah yes, Tariq Ramadan is crying foul and insists on a boycott. We won't go into all the charges Ramadan levels against Israel; we've heard it all before. No, my question is how all this sits with Israeli leftists, like Oz, Yehoshua and Grossman, who mostly agree with people like Ramadan; you know, Israel is racist, sexist, an occupier, not to mention the apartheid business, and that Israelis aren't tall enough to play basketball without American help.

Are they shocked to find that even as they embrace the Palestinian "cause" they are still marginalized and scoffed at by Palestinians and other Muslims? Do they say, "Hey, don't boycott me. I'm on your side, remember? We are your enablers." Or are they resigned to being Jewish in a world that isn't? I don't know the answer.

I do wish that Oz, Yehoshua or Grossman would let us know what it's like being scorned even by fellow travelers. How does it feel?

Perhaps the answer is not in the writing, but in the music.

Is Barenboim amazed that even with his "Palestine" citizenship papers, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad still wants him wiped off the map?

All that must come as a real disappointment, like the heartbreak of psoriasis, to Jewish lefties who find themselves snubbed by like-minded Israel-bashers.

(I don't like to use the word "anti-Semite" too often. Real Jews and real Christians don't like it and neither do real anti-Semites.)

A moment ago, I mentioned the New York Times quite favorably, but see here an opinion piece by someone named David Gavron, who seems to be an Israeli but is so far to the left that if he did not exist, the New York Times would surely have to invent him. (Maybe it did.)

In that Opinion, published February 11 and titled "Israel's Secret Success" (so far so good, right?), Gavron argues (as I read him) that Israel is so well endowed and so well embraced by the entire world that it's time to sit back and give it up. Everybody loves Israel, according to Gavron. Obviously, he does not live in Sderot and never attended that meeting in Durban and doesn't hang out much with Condi or in the corridors of the United Nations.

Do not expect me to explain Gavron's logic. Please read the article as it's linked, or maybe you shouldn't. I read this fairy tale so you wouldn't have to - but, reluctantly, I will share this one snippet: "We Israelis have made a shambles of our Zionist enterprise by establishing settlements in the Palestinian territories we have occupied since 1967."

Please note the key words "settlements" and "occupied," which sound like boilerplate New York Times editorials. (Yes, maybe the Times did invent him.)

What happens when true Israelis and true Arabs get together and forget their "leaders" in favor of honest-to-goodness friendship? What happens when Israeli leftists get out of the way? Read all about it in a heart-affirming

The Jewish leftist is as dangerous, perhaps more dangerous, than the actual anti-Semite.

article posted on IsraelNationalNews com. Appropriately, it's titled "Historic Peace Meeting in Hevron."

The sum of it all is that the Jewish leftist is as dangerous, perhaps more dangerous, than the actual anti-Semite. Leftists operate inside the family.

Years ago, when I visited Israel as a journalist, the mayor of Bethlehem, Elias Freij, along with some 30 doctors and shopkeepers, pleaded with me to use my "influence" back in the USA to keep Israel from importing the PLO, at the time exiled somewhere in Tunis. These "regular" middle-class Arabs wanted no part of that gang.

The Israeli Left - the Israeli leadership, in other words - knew better, of course; and this is the chaos and the terror bequeathed to us to this very day.

Jack Engelhard's latest novel, the newsroom thriller The Bathsheba Deadline, is now ready in paperback and available from Amazon.com and other outlets. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.