Years ago, old-fashioned Jews would ask, is it good for the Jews? It was a question often belittled by their offspring as narrow and selfish. But guess what? It's as vital a question to our collective health as checking one's blood pressure is to personal health.
Unfortunately, due to assimilation and the preachings of Reform and Reconstructionism, many Jews have moved far away from that earthy question into the nebulous realm of tikkun olam, and care far more for the planet and for others than our own kin, in Israel and the US, as if that's a higher morality.
So as a result of letting our guard down and not fighting firmly and yes, in legitimate self-interest, note what has happened lately, here in Massachusetts and beyond:
1. The Mass.state legislature has indefinitely postponed a bill which would have mandated Holocaust education in all public school curricula. And there has been no apparent pushback from Jewish organizations or media!
2. The ACLU and cronies like the leftist and ardently anti-Zionist Mass.Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild have recently stepped into the wellknown Newton,Mass. school debate on curricula and transparency, fighting hard (in the name of free speech) on the side of those who insist on retaining anti-Israel, pro-PLO texts.
3. On the national level,the media, the Democrat party, and notably the far-left "women of color" squad are pushing BDS, removal of the American embassy from Jerusalem, total retreat from Judea and Samaria, and appeasement of Iran. It's already a cliche that some of the big players on the far left (all ardent haters of Trump, the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish president ever!)) are Jews: A.G. Sulzberger owner of the NYTImes, Jeff Zucker head of CNN, and Congressmen like Schumer, Schiff, Engel, Cohen (from (Tennessee), et al.
4. And then we in Massachusetts have Elizabeth Warren (whose husband is a Jew). With Bernie Sanders, she is a prime candidate for the presidency in 2020, and both are, basically, anti-Zionists..Oh, sure, she and Bernie both say yes, Israel has "a right to exist." (Isn't that wonderful and so generous of them!?-- as if that makes them pro-Israel!) But... and there's a big but:
For Warren has come out in favor of a judenrein (totally Jew-free) Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) and a divided Jerusalem-- which means the Temple Mount and the Western Wall would revert to Arab control. And she recently hired for her team a pro-Hamas(!) Jew, Max Berger, a founder of the loathesome IfNotNowWhen? organization-- which opposes the very existence of Israel.
Isn't all that just lovely! And to think that just a few months ago Warren was given a rapturous welcome when speaking at Temple Emmanuel (Conservative) in Newton, Mass.
All of which raises two basic questions: Do Jews really comprehend that many Jews in power have betrayed, yes betrayed, their own kith and kin by not asking that old question, is it good for the Jews?
And are they--we-- aware that the ground is, right now, shifting under our feet?
Note: The above op-ed was originally sent as a letter to the weekly Jewish Advocate, Boston; its editor "passed" on it, without explanation. It was then sent to the editor of the bi-weekly JewishJournal Salem, Mass. It was also ignored. I tried reaching out to both, asking why-- but was again totally rebuffed.
I would say in both cases, without exaggeration, that the editors indulged in anti-rightwing censorship. (They have no problem printing scads of anti-Trump, anti-Netanyahu letters and critiques.) Unfortunately, my observation is that cowardice and censorship are par for the course with many Anglo-Jewish papers, given that their publishers are also afraid of alienating their wealthy Jewish (Democrat!) advertisers.