The shtetl mentality is alive and well with liberal American Jews, by Elder of Ziyon
Remember a week ago in Kenosha, Wisconsin when:
“Free Palestine” was spray-painted in the driveway of the Wisconsin city’s historic synagogue amid the ongoing protests there.
A reporter for the conservative news website Townhall said he filmed a protester painting the words in black in the driveway of Beth Hillel Temple on Wednesday night.
Critics of the Black Lives Matter movement have cited similar vandalism as evidence that protests have devolved into rioting. But has the graffiti changed the synagogue’s support for the racial justice movement?
“Absolutely not,” said Rabbi Dena Feingold, who has led the Reform congregation for 35 years. “That’s a trivial matter. What’s happened these last few days is not about us and what’s happened to us. It’s about the issues of systemic racism that plague our society. About police policy, about implicit bias, white privilege and those bigger issues is what this is about. It doesn’t change anything at all.”
So the rabbi is willing to ignore antisemitic vandalism because it's a "trivial matter" and "not about us and what’s happened to us."
As Elder of Ziyon suggests:
What kind of a rabbi would trivialize an antisemitic attack against her own synagogue? Any person with self-respect would send out a clear message of outrage over an incident like this one, but in the progressive circles that Dana Feingold inhabits, a Jew cannot be proud or make a scene. So she says, hey, no biggie – graffiti us all you want, and maybe we’ll take down that Israeli flag we are waving if it upset the community so much.
I had a similar story yesterday that mentioned the liberal Jews who were concerned with American synagogues flying the Zionist and then the Israeli flags, pre-emptively worried about whether it would stoke accusations of dual loyalty before any antisemite even made that accusation. To the liberal Jews of America, the overwhelming mentality is one of not rocking the boat – to act as if American Jews are not full Americans with the same rights as everyone else.
To act as if antisemitism is the Jews’ fault.
The irony is that the shtetl mentality was inherited by the liberal American Jews who are against what they look at as the separatist Orthodox Jews living in tight-knit communities that resemble Europe’s shtetls. They style themselves as being fully integrated into American society and they look at the religious as being backward and regressive. Yet it isn’t the Orthodox who are fearful of American non-Jews – it is the supposedly assimilated liberal American Jews.
Looking at some of the positions liberal Jewish organizations have taken on issues affecting the Jewish community, it makes sense. Two recent incidents make that "shtetl mentality" hypothesis even more convincing.
From Daniel Greenfield:
Around 40 chapters of the National Council of Jewish Women, a leftist group which, despite its seemingly generic name is also extreme, and whose leadership insisted that they would go on collaborating with anti-Israel bigots, have signed.
The ad creates the illusion of a large number of organizations by listing each leftist astroturf chapter separately.
And yet there are even more problematic signatories here, like the ADL and assorted JCRCs.
Just to drive the point home, the ADL's signature is listed in alphabetical order right next to the "Anti-Zionist Shabbat".
That ought to say it all.
The ADL didn't just co-sign a letter with J Street and T'ruah, and the usual run of anti-Israel groups, but with straight BDS hate groups like JVP. While the ADL claims to be fighting antisemitism, it's once again allying with antisemites.
And from Adam Kredo comes an even more troubling story:
An elite private school in Baltimore founded by Jews is revamping its curriculum in response to a pressure campaign by Black Lives Matter activists demanding an examination of the school's "wealth hoarding" and "tolerance of Zionism."
BLM activists' latest academic target is Baltimore’s Park School, which was founded in 1912 by Jews who were barred entry into the city’s existing private schools. In a letter to the school, an anonymous group identifying itself as the "Black at Park Organizing Collective" calls for "an examination of Park’s history: its inception, early exclusions, culture of whiteness and wealth hoarding, its tolerance of Zionism, and its parasitic relationship to Baltimore City."
It seems that Jews who place more importance on taking the "correct" political stance than on being a light unto the nations are the Jews who have reverted to a "shtetl mentality." They are the Jews with trembling knees.