Wake Up, Jews!
No doubt, it's hard for people to give up their lifelong attachments and identity. But there are moments in history when a turning point arrives, and those with eyes to see and ears to hear recognize it. Many Jews have made political liberalism their religion and personal identity and the Democrat Party their unexamined home and comfort zone. But everything changed early September.
Rarely do modern-day political conventions startle. The Democratic National Convention, however, was earthshaking and a warning to Jews to wake up. Democrat delegates decided to stick it to Israel. We no longer care, they roared, if Israel remains a Jewish state; flood her heartland with millions of so-called Palestinians whose goal is to make the state Islamic. We will not condemn Hamas for targeting Jewish population centers with rockets. Jerusalem is not Israel's indivisible capital but should be divided, like Berlin was. Such was the undeniable sentiment of the delegates at the Convention.
After objections from outside the Convention, the chairman reinstated support for Jerusalem. But he was resoundingly booed. The world saw how those boos far outweighed the yeas. My fellow Jews, the boos were for you; those boos were for Israel, a successful Israel that sticks in the craw of a leftist, socialist mindset that sees Israel not as the beacon of freedom and accomplishment she is, but as something outside the leftist ideological orbit. Sure, they will take your contributions and your votes, but they don't want your Israel, and they expect you to forgo distinctly Jewish needs on the altar of leftism. We saw not liberalism, but hardcore leftism, and we saw a home where the welcome mat is quite conditional and worn out.
The prophet Daniel saw the writing on the wall. All too often throughout our history, we Jews, and especially heads of major Jewish organizations, have failed to see the writing on the wall. We are afraid to see that which is a game-changer, and so we deny events we wish were not happening. After all, who wants to change the comfort zone?
It was a convention, like the last four years of the Obama administration, reveling in class warfare. Class warfare, like Occupy Wall Street and other scapegoating calls, has never been good for the Jews. We are often the scapegoat of those envious. Knowing this, Ahmadinejad scheduled a meeting with Occupy, a movement endorsed last year by many bigwigs in the Democratic Party and even President Obama himself. Jihadists and much of Islam want to delegitimize the concept of a Jewish state by tarnishing Jews as "those rich capitalists" unworthy of a state among the community of nations.
Too often, we Jews have been beguiled into believing that Jews in positions of power have our interests at heart. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is but the latest who would have us think she is "doing what is good for the Jews" when, in fact, she is doing and will continue to do what is good for Debbie and her power base. Similarly, the heads of the major Jewish organizations have been conspicuously silent -- a silence that would not prevail if a Republican were doing the things to Israel Obama is doing.
Job openings are way down; 50% of college graduates, our children, can't find jobs; and Mr. Obama will continue to weaken national security and thus the safety of our families...and continue to make it more difficult for Israel to survive. For many, all this is secondary and expendable for their more important agenda of abortion on demand and gay marriage. How frivolous; how irresponsible!
We can determine what truly is important to a person when he is forced to choose between two values. Since when is it a Jewish value to condemn Israel to misery just so one can be assured of abortion at any time, under any circumstance? Most of your grandparents would have chosen Israel over abortion and gay marriage. As our sages tell us: "The wages of immorality are further immorality."
President Obama has time to meet with Muslim Brotherhood Morsi of Egypt, who has declared his intention to get rid Israel, but Mr. Obama has no time to meet with Israel's Netanyahu, whose country is under imminent nuclear threat from Iran. Israel's concern about a possible nuclear Holocaust is, for Mr. Obama, dismissed as mere noise, while his delegates at the U.N. on Sept. 24 are ordered to sit and listen to the vile noise of the Holocaust-denier and Iranian Jew-hater-in-chief. It is clear that Mr. Obama's underlying sympathy is with the Muslim Brotherhood and its spread and influence around the world. He is coaxing us to accept Islamic attitudes and norms. This speaks volumes -- to those willing to see the facts as they truly are.
My friends, get off the train, now. The track is pointing in a very dangerous direction. You will not prevail over the trend; on the contrary, you will become part of the trend. As an elder clergyman, I'm horrified as I watch many Jews -- young and old -- slowly evolve into proponents of positions unwholesome, dangerous, and destined toward spiritual and physical suicide.
True, you will be forced to stop your demonizing of Republicans. You may have to vote for Romney, a candidate singular in his passion and love for Israel as a living concept, an indivisible Jerusalem, and for Israelis and Jews as Jews. You will have to wipe away the gruesome fantasies you have concocted about Republicans and conservative Americans. That's OK. In fact, it is a nice thing to do and is good for the soul.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of Push Back: Reclaiming our American Judeo-Christian Spirit. (212) 252-6861; www.caucusforamerica.com