More on the AJC’s embarrassing essay, “Progressive Jewish Thought”, which you can download here. Yet another low point for American institutional Jewry, this barely disguised piece of propaganda takes quotes out of context, and edits them without using ellipses. Worse, it takes progressive Jews out of context of their critiques of all human rights violations and inequality, and makes them out to be simply Israel-haters, and by extension, Jew-haters.
Richard Cohen strikes back in his Washington Post column. Leonard Fein defends left Zionists. Phil Weiss of the New York Observer (mentions muzzlewatch) and says progressive Jewish criticism of Israel is now a movement. And Rabbi Tzvee gives it the award for “worst article about antiSemitism ever written.”
The report is a kind of black-listing by a major Jewish organizations of other Jews, including Jewish Voice for Peace and JVP advisory board members Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Adrienne Rich and Tony Kushner, all of whom have made extraordinary contributions to the Jewish world.
For those of us who celebrate and cherish our extraordinarily rich and multi-faceted Jewish history and culture, the efforts of the AJC to make one’s relationship to Israel or Zionism the sole litmus test of whether one loves or hates the Jews, is an offense of the worst kind. What is the definition of idolatry again? Is Jewish anti-Zionism, or Jewish criticism of Zionism and Israel, an invention of the last decade?
Jewish progressives, the very people who uphold Judaism’s reputation for its commitment to human rights that many of these folks love to kvell about, are the ones being eaten alive here.
In a way, it is good the AJC published this shameful document, because it surfaces the kind of paranoid and narrow thinking that has permeated many parts of institutional Jewry.
In that sense, for those of us at Jewish Voice for Peace, there’s nothing new here.
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