Friday, March 26, 2010

Jewish Rubes
Mike Rappaport

I am not sure how many Jews still support Israel (but I am guessing a majority), and I am not sure how many of those voted for Obama (but again I am guess a majority), but that group would appear to be comprised of a large percentage of (what Glenn calls the) rubes.  Who are the rubes?  In this context, it would be the people who believed the Obama rhetoric about supporting Israel, even though the facts, especially his associations, suggested otherwise.  Of course, some of these people may not care so much.  After all, what is some lack of support for Israel and coddling of Iran compared to nationalizing health care and the possibility of so much more big government? 

Of course, maybe some of those people believed that Obama would treat Israel well and wouldn't be a big social democratic.  Well, we need a new name for those people -- maybe superrubes.

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Mike Rappaport


As a "conservative" and a member of a Reform Jewish synagogue, I can tell you that for a lot of Jews self-identifying with being "progressive" trumps Jewish identity and support of Israel hands down. This observation supports your statement "After all, what is some lack of support for Israel and coddling of Iran compared to nationalizing health care and the possibility of so much more big government?" Cool. It's like, social justice, man.

And I can also tell you that being a "conservative" in a Reform Jewish Congregation is "like being as nervous as a whore in Church". Hahahahahaha.

Posted by: James | Mar 26, 2010 6:13:02 PM

That's fantastic news, actually, and shows the evolution of the Jewish people - who are now seeing themselves as Americans first. It often takes generations for an immigrant people to recognize that their homeland is the soil upon which they rest their feet. I'm not sure why you see the assimilation of the Jewish people into American culture as a bad thing.

It seems like you are arguing an ethnic purity that should transcend American identity. That might not make you a rube, but it does make you scary.

Posted by: Mike | Mar 26, 2010 8:17:59 PM

They are called suicide Jews. If Israel did not exist, it would be no less so. They are driven by in immense Stockholm Syndrome in conflict with posing in an intellectual IQ meritocracy.

Posted by: james wilson | Mar 26, 2010 9:57:22 PM

In his own ugly way, commenter Mike has put his finger on it. Discrimination against Jews stopped being fashionable in America around the 1960s. Before then, secular, assimilated American Jews tended to be strongly Zionist, because Zionism represented a rejection of the traditional religiosity that kept Jews from "passing" as Gentile and thus evading discrimination. (Religious Jews, on the other hand, tended to be anti-Zionist, viewing Israel as a threat to traditional piety.) Once avoiding discrimination ceased to be a major concern, though, Zionism itself became the main barrier to complete assimilation for secular Jews. Modern assimilated Jews thus strive to separate themselves from Zionism as well.

The irony, of course, is that non-Jewish Americans are considerably more pro-Israel, on average, than secular, assimilated American Jews. They can afford to be, after all, because they don't risk charges of "dual loyalty"--or simply cultural alien-ness--from the likes of commenter Mike.

Posted by: Dan Simon | Mar 26, 2010 11:29:29 PM

Rubes they are but I agree it's too weak a term. There is a willful blindness about it. A relative of mine who is not a leftist said that he voted for Obama because Obama "said all the right things". It's as if these people make voting decisions based only on formal position papers and on campaign speeches to Jewish audiences. But of course if you have a narrow interest-group audience a dishonest candidate will find it easy to tell that audience what it wants to hear. What you really need to do is look at what the candidate says to audiences whose interests conflict with yours.

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 27, 2010 1:59:52 AM

Mike - Rather, it shows that most Jews have NOT assimilating to America. America loves Israel, and if Jews were assimilating, they would too. Their indifference to Israel's fate is part and parcel with their hatred of Christians, Republicans, conservatives, and American traditions. It is evidence that they stand against America. So is their 80% rate of voting Democratic. Every group antagonistic to America for one reason or another -- blacks holding a grudge over slavery, Mexico-loyal Hispanics, felons -- votes heavily Democrat. When Jews truly assimilate, they'll become majority Republican.

Contra your statement, many leftist Jews see themselves as anti-Americans first.

Posted by: pj | Mar 27, 2010 7:01:00 AM