A number of corporate media outlets are not making it clear that Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and IfNotNow (INN) are unrepresentative of Jewish Americans. For example, the Associated Press has labeled them “Jewish advocacy groups.” This is a result of ignorance at best and malice at worst. We should care because the reporting is having two dangerous effects.
First, it’s causing many to view Jewish Americans as rather insane. Many Christians who intuitively support the Jewish state are left scratching their heads and frustrated, wondering why Jews loathe their ancestral, biblical homeland. Second, by neglecting to sufficiently distinguish the fringe from the conventional, it’s providing cover for what is actually antisemitism.
Anti-Zionism Is Antisemitism
Support for the state of Israel, home to the world’s largest Jewish population, is a pillar of modern Judaism. Eight in 10 Jewish Americans believe that caring about Israel is an essential or important part of Jewish identity. On the other hand, JVP and INN — as well as similar cliques like Rabbis for Ceasefire — are opposed to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and, therefore, are anti-Zionist. Even the Anti-Defamation League, which no one would ever call “conservative” or “right-leaning,” has branded JVP as “a radical anti-Israel and anti-Zionist group.”
There is no need to beat around the bush: Anti-Zionism is antisemitism — period. Despite attempts by radicals with advanced degrees in sociology or feminist studies to argue otherwise, there is no way around it.
What’s more, the George Soros-funded Tides Center, a left-wing advocacy group, provided $650,000 and $400,000 to JVP and INN, respectively. Soros, though Jewish himself, is an ardent foe of both the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel. (An author of this piece is a cofounder of Jews Against Soros, launched earlier this year.)
By putting the words “Jewish” and “Rabbis” front and center, these groups are engaged in the same rhetorical and malevolent shenanigans as “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (otherwise known as North Korea). Indeed, it’s also the ruse that the United Nations deploys for its Human Rights Council, which largely consists of human rights violators. To deceive the public, JVP and INN claim to be exactly what they are not. Call it a Jewish Napoleon complex. These groups are overcompensating for their religiously diminutive stature.
As such, no one should be fooled by the kippot (head coverings), tallit (prayer shawls), and shofarot (rams’ horns) at the protests in the streets, on the quad, and on Capitol Hill. These groups are hostile to revealed religion. This is worse than Jewish cosplay; it’s desecration.
If “Rabbi” Jessica Rosenberg — who recently interrupted President Joe Biden in Minneapolis by demanding an Israeli ceasefire, who has been hanging with Rep. “It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby” Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and whom LGBTQ Nation without irony tags “a cisgender queer woman with a beard” — is an actual rabbi, then you must call us Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson on the golf course.
These activists — and more-than-occasional insurrections — are the Impossible Burgers of the Jewish world. That thing sandwiched between two warm buns might ostensibly resemble a juicy piece of beef. But once you bite into it, you immediately know it’s not the real thing.
Democrats Own Antisemitism
It’s also worth underscoring the partisan nature of the antisemitic protests that have been garnering so much media attention. We’re willing to bet that 99 percent of those who participated in the protests on American campuses and across cities over the past six weeks voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020.
So for those who doggedly cling to the notion that antisemitism in America is a “right-wing” problem: Wake up! It’s no longer 1955. Sure, far-right antisemitism exists on the edges of society and in pockets of the dark web. But the Jew-hatred that’s been pouring out into the open from coast to coast since the Hamas pogrom of Oct. 7 is all coming from the left.
Liberal Jews need to open their eyes and ears. The intersectional “allies” with whom they protested during the 2017 Women’s March and the Antifa-Black Lives Matter “1619 riots” of 2020 are not friends of the Jews. They are self-admitted foes of not just the Jewish people but also of America and Western civilization. They endeavor to defend the indefensible by siding with Hamas, an officially designated foreign terrorist organization that, among other evil acts, beheads and rapes women and babies.
The activists of JVP, INN, Rabbis for Ceasefire, and the like are engaged in PR hijinks. A lot of media are playing a perilous game by going along for the ride. Antisemitic incidents in America have increased 400 percent since the start of October. Pro-Hamas rioters set off smoke bombs outside the Los Angeles home of the president of AIPAC. Elsewhere in California, a Jewish man was murdered for his religion. In South Florida, where we both live, one can hardly go to shul, dine at a kosher restaurant, or visit any other Jewish establishment without security present.
Jews all across America — indeed, all around the world — are living on edge. At a time like this, the very least we can ask of corporate media outlets and their political compatriots is to refrain from sanitizing and, therefore, enabling antisemitism by giving it a “Jewish” veneer.