On Progressive Jewish Angst

The world has seen a VEI-8 volcanic eruption of homicidal Jew-hatred in recent months, all of it inarguably coming from the political global left. 

Even if couched in mealy-mouthed euphemisms like “anti-Zionism” and “anti-colonialism,” the subtext is the same: kill the Jews, boycott and divest from them, steal their land (Israel), rape and mutilate their women, behead their babies, set them on fire, slice off their genitalia, and dehumanize them at every turn, everywhere. 

While the left’s genocidal vitriol towards Jews is no surprise to conservatives (many of whom are Christians and among Israel’s greatest champions), the bloodthirsty venom has startled and alarmed many progressive Jews, exposing a slight fissure in the Democrat party’s iron coalition of the resentful and the aggrieved.

From Jews in Hollywood like Julianna Margulies to billionaire Harvard alumni like Bill Ackman, a modicum of cognitive dissonance has set in, resulting in dozens of thoughtful if terminally late articles and Xweets expressing dismay and feelings of being betrayed by their comrades in arms.

Evidently, prior to 10/7, these progressive Jews, most of them successful, wealthy, and influential, somehow perceived American Jews to be at risk from some conservative or Republican bogeyman.  This inversion of reality was always a straw man, a phantom menace lurking only in the fevered imaginings of leftists.

Without irony or contrition, progressive Jews like Margulies proclaim solidarity with Black Lives Matter, a virulently racist political movement that targets innocent whites (the vast majority of whom are gentiles), and leverages guilt-inducing moral extortion credibly backed by the threat of nationwide urban violence to get billions of dollars out of taxpayers and private businesses. 

BLM is a gigantic geyser of racial animosity, but the virtue-signaling Margulies and other progressive Jews confer a form of moral legitimacy when they expressly endorse not just the platitudinous bumper sticker, but BLM’s actual rhetoric, violent actions, and aims.  It is moral incongruence, if not moral cowardice, for such Jews to ignore invocations to violence against generic whites but then express shock over many African-Americans, Arab Muslims, so-called women’s rights groups, and other leftists exulting over attacks against Jews. 

Yet, sure as Groundhog Day, the Steven Spielbergs and Mark Zuckerbergs of America will again raise enormous sums of cash for the Democrat party and will vote exactly as the Jew-hating (D) Ilhan Omars and Rashida Tlaibs and BLM rioters do.

Leftist Jews, many of whom are ambivalent at best about Israel’s right to exist, seemingly lack a sense of self-awareness and are politically indistinguishable from Islamic supremacists like Linda Sarsour and Reza Azlan.  Shrill, Christophobic Jews won’t be dissuaded from voting a straight (D) ticket by the left’s gleeful reaction to 10/7 and loud demands for fresh atrocities.  It is almost as if illiberal Jews are Nazi adjacent.

Clearly, the glue that unites these odd bedfellows politically is a shared idée fixe — the white (generally conservative, Christian) male as perennial villain and scapegoat.

As America has become less white and less Christian, it has predictably become far more antisemitic (and far less tolerant).  It is not antisemitic to ponder what role progressive Jews have played in furthering such social conditions. 

It is also revealing to notice how progressive Jews came to find themselves bunking in allyship with terrorist-glorifying Arab-Palestinian student groups, along with BLM and Antifa terrorists; dozens of “women’s rights” groups maintaining radio silence, celebrating, or even outright denying the unspeakable atrocities committed against Israeli females; and the Hamas-supporting Muslim lobby, led by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). 

The truth about the massive spike in hate crimes against Jews is that the crimes are overwhelmingly committed by fellow leftists, especially urban blacks and Muslims of Arab or Middle Eastern descent.

Yet prestigious Jews in media, the arts, and academia propagate the risible falsehood that rural rednecks and Republicans are somehow responsible for the anti-Jewish hatred observed throughout urban America.  (The horrifying Tree of Life synagogue shooting committed by Robert Bowers in 2018 is often cited by media as a right-wing atrocity, but Bowers’s antisemitism was far more consistent with the professed, indeed mainstream, rhetoric of the left.)

To hear far-left MSNBC propagandist Joe Scarborough tell it, America is teeming with Nazi-saluting white racists who listen to the Horst Wessel song, and then race into the streets to unleash Kristallnacht-style pogroms upon America’s Jewish enclaves. 

The lies and nonstop performative agitprop are every bit as ridiculous as Jussie Smollett’s ambush by racist, homophobic MAGA crackers running loose in Chicago, or Crystal Mangum or Tawana Brawley being gang-raped by white men and smeared with feces, or fellow hate crime hoaxer Morton Downey, Jr. with an oddly backwards swastika painted on his forehead, or thousands of unarmed blacks gunned down annually by white cops. 

Yet these big lies serve the electoral interests of the Democrat party and are fervently and widely disseminated and endorsed by progressive Jews, and other supposedly “marginalized” minority groups.

Relative to their tiny percentage of the population, Jews are prominent in America’s newsrooms, public classrooms, university lecture halls, corporate boardrooms, government, Big Tech, and the arts.  Yet instead of feeling gratitude for living in such a Jewish-friendly society (perhaps the first such redoubt the Jewish diaspora has ever known), progressive Jews in the aforementioned professions have largely sought to foment antagonism toward America, its founding, and its entire history right up to the present day.  Read anything by Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky, not to mention the thousands of lesser known Jewish intellectuals who for decades inculcated malice toward Caucasians by promoting the fallacy that America has always been run by white supremacists.

Predictably, this never-ending drumbeat of incendiary racial hysteria culminated in America’s cities becoming boiling cauldrons of anti-white racism, violence, and now also Jew-hatred.  (Unlike Israeli Jews, American Jews are overwhelmingly white Ashkenazi, so they share the scarlet W, the same white mark of Cain, with white gentiles.)

In sowing social discord and prodding their fellow “marginalized” minorities to racially demonize the white “Christian” majority, influential progressive Jews perhaps believed they were “feeding the crocodile” and indemnifying themselves from being victimized by the very racial animus they promulgated.  Instead, white Jews experienced blowback when they themselves became targets for threats, intimidation, vandalism, and violence.

It will never be acknowledged by a dishonest hate group like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), but urban white Jews, their synagogues, their homes, and businesses (BDS is entirely a movement of the Jew-hating left) are targeted for crimes by fellow urban Democrats who have marinated for decades in a stew of irrational bitterness and resentment toward whites.  If society’s highest and noblest goal is to abolish and eradicate “whiteness,” as seems to be the case, American Jews will not escape that fate.

While a handful of progressive Jews declared a reckoning over the left’s near-orgasmic reaction to 10/7, their proclaimed full-throated fealty to BLM, to Antifa, to the Democrat party, to the Palestinian “cause” (worldwide genocide against Jews and full annexation of the land of Israel) gives away the game that their true religion is their unquestioning, unwavering loyalty to the Democrat party, with all of its manifest contradictions, identitarian obsessions, straw-man paranoia, and fictitious narratives.

Logic is no prophylactic for the terminally delusional.  Will the roughly 75 percent of Jews who vote Democrat once again come “home” by Election Day — to the profoundly antisemitic Democrat party?  Will they again bring their fundraising, support, propaganda, and votes to a political movement that despises them?

Final proof of whether American Jews have truly undergone a belated awakening about their fellow travelers on the left will be known after the 2024 election votes are tabulated. 

The authors, previous contributors to AT, are brothers and ethnic Jews.

Image: hendricjabs via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this essay identified Stephen King as Jewish. He is not. 

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