WashPost Column Tells Progressive Jews to Support Israel or Get Excommunicated

Chris Menahan
Mar. 07, 2024

The Washington Post ran a column from Noah Feldman on Tuesday telling progressive Jews to get with the program and back Israel's genocide campaign in Gaza or face excommunication.

After paragraph upon paragraph aimed at building rapport with the progressive Jews Feldman is targeting, he finally got to the point at the end of his column.

From The Washington Post, "To be a Jew today: The aftermath of Oct. 7" (Archive):
[Young progressive Jews] believe in the teachings of social justice that compel them to social action. But they also find that they cannot avoid what they see as the broken reality of Israel.

[...] Their solution -- their Jewish, progressive, sincerely felt solution -- is to express their belief in social justice by criticizing or condemning Israel for its failures of equality, liberty, dignity and human rights.

[...] As today's college students become adults and gradually assume leadership of their movements, progressive Judaism will have to work out its long-term attitude toward Israel. One possibility is for progressive Jews to tack away from the focus on Israel, to engage their Jewishness in other ways -- familial, spiritual and personal. This would entail real theological change.

But so would embracing simultaneously a God of loving social justice and a state that rejects liberal democracy. Israel will not change just because progressive American Jews want it to. They will have to find their own answers to the looming crisis facing them -- and soon, before a new generation finds itself alienated from a Jewishness whose inner contradictions it cannot reconcile.

At the individual level, Jews who want to think less about Israel also face serious challenges because Jewishness is a collective identity. If most Jews self-define in relation to Israel, positively or negatively, it is hard for any Jews to choose not to do so.

Yet a turn to a Jewishness that is more personal, familial and spiritual and less national-political may be the inevitable result, even if no formal movement within Jewish life consciously adopts such a policy. If this happens, Jews will have to draw more than ever on their rich traditions of faith, doubt, struggle and love -- and do so as families, rather than as a nation.
Translation: get with the program and back Israel's genocide campaign or face excommunication. Israel's not going to change anything -- and you will never be given any national-political power -- so you need to change yourself to get in line with Israel (or become a hermit and stay the hell out of our way).

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said similar in the wake of October 7, stating that "every Jewish person is a Zionist" and labeling anti-Zionist Jews (whom he stripped of their Jewishness) as a "hate group."

Noah Feldman, who is a professor at Harvard Law School, is the same writer who had the cover story in Time Magazine last week on "The New Anti-Semitism" which argued that the entire world was antisemitic for opposing Israel's genocide of women and children in Gaza.

Israel is going to have to come to terms with the fact that young people are seeing through their lies.

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