November 17, 2007


When Democrats Become Instruments of God (David Klinghoffer, Oct 17, 2007, The Forward)

Can you imagine a Republican presidential candidate inviting the members of an evangelical church to elect him and help build the Lord’s Kingdom on Earth, in which the office seeker himself will function as a self-proclaimed instrument of God? Yet earlier this month, Barack Obama told the congregation of a church in Greenville, S.C.: “We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.” He also said, “I want all of you to pray that I can be an instrument of God.”

These remarks occasioned no protest from the Jewish community.

If Obama were a Republican, you can be sure the top Jewish organizations would be the first to leap furiously upon him, warning that the next step will be pogroms in the streets of the Upper West Side and the sacking of Zabar’s by Cossack horsemen. [...]

I would say there are two reasons for the oddly muted reactions from Jews and other liberals.

First and most obviously, whatever declarations of non-partisanship Jewish groups may make, they are resolutely wed to the Democrats. In tightly tying our community’s fortunes to the goodwill of one party, they put us in a dangerous position.

In this circumstance that we have allowed them to create, the other party has little incentive to court or serve Jewish interests. Thank God, Republicans do so anyway, mainly because the Evangelical Christian constituency insists on it. that Jews hate Evangelicals because they are Evangelicals, while Evangelicals love Jews because they are Jews.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 17, 2007 6:41 AM

It makes sense that Evangelicals love Jews because they are part of their religious heritage. What baffles me is why Jews hate Evangelicals, or for that matter any part of the right. If it weren't for Republicans, Israel would be put a faint memory right (pun intended) now.

Posted by: erp at November 17, 2007 9:21 AM

A better question is why is much of Israel hard core Leftist and most of American Jewry staunchly liberal?

Posted by: Perry at November 17, 2007 9:40 AM

Sorry Erp, that didn't come out well...I meant to phrase your question another way.

Posted by: Perry at November 17, 2007 9:42 AM

The short answer to OJ's question is that, when Democrats invoke God, everyone knows that they're lying.

The short answer to erp's and Perry's question is that Jews live in Blue states and are no different than their Blue neighbors.

Posted by: Ibid at November 17, 2007 10:57 AM

Perry, I know the answer, I just can't accept that what is probably the best educated and most intelligent sector or our society is still wrapped up in what is essentially a question of semantics.

Fascists aren't right wing. They are socialists, no less than Soviet “conservatives” and neither have the slightest comparison to the American right.

That American Jews can't recognize the anti-Semitism among the lefties from one corner of the globe to the other is stunning to me because in my opinion a lot of the world’s “sensitivity” to Moslems is the enemy of my enemy syndrome.

Much of the anti-Americanism and hatred of the U.S. is because here all of us are equally valued. The accusation that our support of Israel is just trolling for votes, is especially ludicrous since the vast majority of Jews are voting for the anti-Semites and against those candidates who are pro-Israel.

Scratch a lib and find a Jew-hater. It sicken me.

Posted by: erp at November 17, 2007 11:11 AM

1. Jews are not a monolithic group, but are found along the entire range of political views, from the loony left, to quite right-wing (though probably not loony right). Many, in fact, consider themselves to be Scoop Jackson liberals. Granted, they have historically been aligned more as liberals and hence with the Democratic Party. This will continue, but I would venture to say that more and more, traditionally liberal Jews are waking up as to whom the real enemy is. In other words, increasingly, liberal Jews are feeling uneasy about the increasing conflation of "liberal" with positions that are antagonistic to the State of Israel, and Jews, generally.

(And while the "loony left" appears to be making significant inroads towards the center, keep in mind, that elements of the ultra-conservative right are as antagonistic towards Israel as the loony left.)

2. I don't think that (liberal) Jews hate evangelicals. I do think they feel very uneasy, even resentful, about attitudes that they perceive are generally held (and have been held)by evangelicals regarding Judaism, Jews and Jewish culture. Whether or not these perceptions are still correct have been disputed, generally by more Orthodox Jewish commentators.

3. Keep in mind that within the Jewish electorate, there are what can be called "historical anxieties." Whether such anxieties are still justified in the current American socio-political climate may be debated.

4. Whilt the Bush administration has been, without a doubt, very friendly to Israel, it will be interesting, and telling, to see to what extent the administration will pressure Israel to grant concessions to the Palestinian Authority at Annapolis, assuming that conference gets off the ground.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 18, 2007 6:57 AM

Barry, it's probably easier to divide Jews up between believers and unbelievers.

Unbelievers hate evangelicals because evangelicals proclaim their belief in God. Unbelievers like the Democratic party because they are currently the secular party and countenance all the things that God does not.

I would bet it has nothing to do with Israel or social programs.

Posted by: Randall Voth at November 18, 2007 7:42 AM

Interesting idea; however, it appears to overlook the inescapable reality of "two Jews, three (or four or five) opinions"....

I'm also wondering where that leaves non-Jewish unbelievers? (There must be one or two floating around....)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 18, 2007 9:21 AM

The simple answer is that most liberal Jews in the US are not religious. They are Jews in name only. They have replaced Judaism with "humanism", global warming, Bush hatred, political correctness, moral equivalence, and a woman's right to chose as thier belief system. Many have even accepted the leftist notion that there is no need for a Jewish state becuase it represents particularism. Being unique or special only can apply to percieved minorities in the lefist view and that doesn't include the "priviledged" Jews.

It's not a mystery that most "orthodox" Jewish believers are conservative in thier world views. They believe in Torah and God. They are not afraid of Christian Evangelicals. They view them as people of God as well, and they are secure in thier own beliefs and aren't afraid of being converted by the Evangelicals.

Posted by: morry at November 18, 2007 10:13 AM

Jewish unbelievers are non-Jewish unbelievers

Posted by: oj at November 18, 2007 1:49 PM