I am a great admirer of the Jewish people and, as far back as I can remember I have always been a cast-iron supporter of the State of Israel. What I find hard to understand, however, is how a people who are in general so smart, can overwhelmingly be simpletons in politics. At least since the beginning of Zionism in the 19th century right up until today, Jews have been overwhelmingly Leftist. From memory, about 80% of Jews voted Democrat in the 2004 Presidential election. Jewish alienation is probably the explanation. Dissatisfaction with the world around you IS Leftism and Jews do have reasons to be very dissatisfied with the world in which they find themselves.
As I mentioned, even Zionism was originally very Leftist -- which is why the kibbutzim were the longest-running experiment in Communism -- an experiment that has only recently been abandoned. That Zionism could have been far-Leftist might seem surprising to some today but Leftists were commonly very nationalist up until WW2 -- though you would never believe it from listening to today's Leftists. And to this day, leading Leftist intellectuals -- such as Noam Chomsky -- are Jewish and the many Jews in the U.S. Congress are also almost all Democrats. So I want to say a few words now about one particular achievement of that subset of Jews who are Leftist.
Leftism is usually destructive (to tear down is, after all, its first aim) in one way or another and Jewish Leftism is no exception. It is most incorrect to mention it, but, at risk of being "insensitive", I am now going to mention it: It was Marxist Jews who antagonized Hitler. Hitler started out with the view that antisemitism was ignorant so there is a need to explain what changed his mind. What he says in Mein Kampf is that in Linz -- where he grew up -- there were few Jews and he saw them at that time as no different from other Germans. So when he moved to Vienna he was horrified at the antisemitism of much of the Viennese press. As he says:
"For the Jew was still characterized for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others. Consequently, the tone, particularly that of the Viennese anti-Semitic press, seemed to me unworthy of the cultural tradition of a great nation".
The conventional explanation is that it was rejection by the Jewish-led Vienna Art Academy that changed his mind. But I know of no good justification for that explanation. It is an explanation of convenience only. Mein Kampf may be unreliable as objective history but there is no reason to doubt that it is good subjective history -- i.e. it records how Hitler saw things. And in Mein Kampf he does not even mention the word "Jew" in connection with the Academy. He says that the Rector rejected him from the painting school because his main talent and interest was in architecture -- a judgement with which Hitler himself emphatically agreed! So what DID antagonize him?
Long before the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Hitler had despised the destructive and divisive side of Marxism and when he found that practically every preacher of Marxist class-emnity that he encountered in Vienna was a Jew, he began to see Jews as bent on the destruction of the German people he loved. In other words, for him it was the strong association of Jews with Marxist hate that led to his generalized horror of all Jews. He in fact describes his conversion to antisemitism as "a great spiritual upheaval" -- i.e. he abandoned his previous "cosmopolitan" (tolerant) views only with great reluctance.
Whatever else he was, Hitler was a fervent German nationalist and the great love affair of his life was a love-affair with the German people (Volk) as he saw them. But in the aftermath of WWI, Germans were furiously divided among themselves and apparently on the verge of class-war. That grieved Hitler deeply and to salvage his romantic view of his Volk he had to attribute the divisions among Germans to outside forces deceiving them rather than as something intrinsic to Germans themselves. And since the active preachers of class war at the time were often Jews, the scapegoat was obvious. So it was Hitler's nationalist passion combined with the reality of Marxist Jewish hate-preaching that transformed him into an active antisemite.
So Jewish far-Leftists did all Jews a great good turn there, didn't they?
And something very similar happened in Britain. It is sometimes forgotten that Britain too had a considerable Fascist movement in the interwar period. And the leader of the British Union of Fascists -- Sir Oswald Mosley -- was a person of some consequence. The King even came to his wedding! And, like Hitler, Mosley started out seeing antisemitism as ignorant. In the early days he would even expel from the BUF anybody who made antisemitic utterances. But after his street meetings had come under constant attack from far-Leftist Jewish demonstrators, he began to think that Hitler had a point. So again, Jewish Leftists converted a friend of Jews into an enemy. Dreamers and simpletons might like to contend that Hitler was somehow ALWAYS an antisemite but it is very clear that Mosley was not.
The only reliable friends Israel has in the world today are American conservatives and Christians. Will the totally unappreciative attitude of most Jews towards those groups convert a friend into an enemy too? Will the consistent attacks by the ADL on Christian expression in the public square eventually alienate Christians? I fervently hope not but Leftist Jews are not helping the cause at all. With Muslims and the Left now heavily antisemitic, I think that the opposition by Leftist Jews to their only remaining friends almost indicates a death-wish. One can only hope that the many conservative Jews -- such as Jeff Jacoby and Dennis Prager -- who very wisely give every support to Christians will be the voices that Christians mostly hear. Surely nobody with any grasp of history needs to be told that Christian antagonism to Jews is possible!
I imagine that any Leftist Jew reading this will immediately put all their defence mechanisms into overdrive but a distinguished Jewish psychiatrist -- Sigmund Freud -- long ago pointed out that defence meachanisms are pathological and self-destructive so I do hope that denial will give way to an honest contemplation of reality in at least some cases.
Dennis Prager also has some wise words on Jewish Leftism.
A Jewish reader has written to me saying that Jews who work against the interests of Jews generally should not be regarded as Jews. So humans who work against the interests of humans generally (as Greenies, Leftists and criminals normally do) should not be regarded as human beings? I think not. The reader does have a good academic point however: I have not defined what I mean by "Jewish". As the matter is a very contentious one, I am not big on definitions of "Jewish" but I think that for most purposes the definition offered in the law of the return is sufficient: A Jew is someone who regards himself as a Jew. I would add to that, however, that someone from a clearly Jewish family (e.g. a family committed to halacha) should also be regarded as a Jew, no matter how he regards himself -- which is part of the reason why we have the common expression: "Non-observant Jew".
The same writer implied that I was proposing discrimination against Leftist Jews. Much though I loathe Jews who undermine Israel, nobody will ever find a single word that I have written which proposes discrimination against Jews of any sort. I think the only way one can deal with Jewish Leftism is the way one has to deal with Leftism generally -- through reason, facts and persuasion.
Note also that I am NOT saying that Leftist Jews are responsible for the holocaust. Hitler was. But it serves us very ill if we fail to look into his motivations.
I have come across some figures on American Jewish political allegiances:
The 2006 midterm elections confirmed once again a truism of American politics: American Jews remain overwhelmingly devoted to the Democratic party. According to exit polling, the tilt this year was, if anything, even more pronounced than it has been in the past. Some 88 percent of Jewish votes went to Democratic candidates, while a mere 12 percent went to the GOP.
Along with this lopsided outcome, a historical extreme, comes the news that the number of Jewish representatives in Congress has itself reached an all-time high. Although Jews represent a marginal sliver—a mere 2 percent—of the U.S. population, they now hold 13 seats in the U.S. Senate, all but two of them—Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Norm Coleman of Minnesota—Democratic. (Bernard Sanders of Vermont, elected as an independent, has pledged to vote with the Democratic caucus.) In the House of Representatives, Jews, all but one of them Democrats, now occupy 30 seats.
Pelosi hears boos at AIPAC "Members of the main pro-Israel lobbying group offered scattered boos to a statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the Iraq war has been a failure on several scores. The boos, mixed with some polite applause, stood in stark contrast to the reception House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) received minutes earlier. Most of the crowd of 5,000 to 6,000 stood and loudly applauded Boehner when he said the U.S. had no choice but to win in Iraq. Pelosi and Boehner were speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual meeting. AIPAC has not taken a position on the war in Iraq or the supplemental spending bill to be considered this week by the House Appropriations Committee, but much of Boehner's speech was about the future of the Iraq conflict. Boehner sought to link the fight in Iraq to the future of Israel, as he said a failure in Iraq would pose a direct threat to Israel"
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)