Friday, May 28, 2010

Commentary on Peter Beinert’s, The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

Jerome S. Kaufman

Once again an academic quotes factual material and then manages to re-interpret the facts to promote his own agenda. A fine example of this phenomenon is Peter Beinert’s article, The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment. Of course, the title itself is judgmental. By whose standard is something a failure? Steven J. Rosen, former AIPAC foreign policy director, writing in the Middle East Forum May 23, 2010, in response to Beinart, and using his own standard of failure states, Mainstream pro-Israel organizations are in fact booming, thank you. AIPAC's income from donations is now five times what it was in 2000, and sixty times what it was when I joined the organization in 1982. It is growing commensurately in membership (including young people) and influence too. The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee are also roaring tigers.

Beinert’s 4900 word tome appears in The New York Review of Books, ultra liberal supplement to the NY Times. The article presents Beinert’s so-called liberal agenda, using as a launching point the fact that in 2003, prominent Jewish philanthropists, tried to find out how to help Jewish students on college campuses. Jewish college students for years have had to deal with well-financed fanatical Arab students armed with professionally orchestrated anti-Semitic agendas and anti-Israel propaganda. The philanthropists hired well known pollster and political analyst Frank Luntz. Luntz’s task was to try and figure out what had gone wrong - why the Jewish students seemed unable to defend themselves against the onslaught.

In short order, Luntz found that most Jewish college students were simply not involved with Israel. Further inquiry re-enforced this indifference with the students mouthing the usual sophomorish, supposedly high-minded but, in fact, simply uninformed platitudes. The students stated that they: ‘Reserve the right to criticize Israel’, They ‘desperately want peace’ (as if the Israelis do not), They empathize with the plight of the downtrodden Palestinians and they have Muslim friends that are good people, etc. etc.”

Beinert jumped on this, concluding that the college students must be “liberals” Great! How many of us were not “liberals” in college days? It was long before any of us painfully learned that the world is not liberal. Russia, China, Iran. Cuba, Argentina, the Hamas in Gaza, the Hezbullah in Lebanon, the entire Islamic world are not liberals but rather in synch to destroy the power and well-being of this great country and its point man, Israel.

Beinart called Luntz’s findings a “damning indictment of the organized Jewish Community” because, with or without Luntz’s findings, establishment Jewish organizations continue to promote Israel and re-engage Jewish students in their heritage, trying to arm them morally, psychologically and factually with the justice of their cause. And, how did present college kids get so liberal? Is it the fact that all their classes are taught by far left academics like Beinert who have taken hostage the political science and Middle Eastern and Asian departments of virtually all American colleges and do not even allow academics in with opposing opinions?

But, all of the above begs the real problem that has created this state of affairs. The Israelis and Diaspora Jewry have allowed the Arabs to get away with gargantuan propaganda lies that Beinart vehemently re-enforces as if it were gospel truth - that the Jews stole Arab land and the Jews had no right to be there. Nothing is more aggravating to me then to hear Israeli leaders genuflecting - asking the Arabs, the world, the UN or whatever minuscule political entity currently in power, to accept Israel’s right to exist. Are you kidding me? Israel with over a 3000 year claim to the land 1600 years before Muhammad was even born plus unequivocal declarations by the League of Nations after WWI and the United Nations after WW II authorizing the Jews return to their biblical homeland, need to beg anyone for the right to exist!!

The other gross lie that grinds is the repeated claim by destructive Leftists like Beinart that the Arabs in Israel live as a persecuted minority. It so happens that Israeli Arabs have the highest standard of living of any in the entire Arab world. They have the longest life expectancy, the best education, 11 or 12 representatives in the Israel’s governing body, the Knesset plus enjoy all the other benefits of the only genuine democracy in the Middle East. By contrast, completely Ignored, is the fact that 99% of Jews living in Arab countries for 2000 years were murdered and driven out. About 600,000 were expelled after Israel was re-born in 1948, penniless, their considerable assets and properties absconded by the Arab state.

Historically, despite 2000 years in these Arab countries, Jews and Christians were never allowed full citizenship, let alone seats in some duly elected representative government. Israeli Arabs, by contrast, are encouraged to take full advantage of their new found freedom. They readily do, overwhelming free Israeli hospitals and all their social service agencies. In gratitude, these same Arabs show no loyalty whatever but instead constitute a Fifth Column ready to explode against the Israelis at the first opportunity.

Finally, Beinart bemoans the fact that the Orthodox continue to have large families, revel in their Jewish tradition and educate their children with great pride and respect for what the Jewish people have accomplished. It is only within this sort of environment that children understand the dire importance of Israel as a refuge for the Jewish people. Furhermore It inspires them to become willing volunteers for the most dangerous branches of the Israel Defense Forces.

Beinart and I do agree, but for different reasons, on his primary declaration - American Jewish establishment organizations are, in many ways, failures. If the members of these organizations had attended synagogues with their children regularly, and enrolled them in Hebrew day schools and summer camps, this would have instilled them with a sense of pride and knowledge of their own people, its glorious culture and the importance of the State of Israel.

Incidently, there are tens of millions of our non-Jewish friends who understand and believe in their heart of hearts in the vital importance of the Jewish State to the western world - a message that has somehow escaped many of our own children and the reason American Jewish establishment organizations are now. so belatedly, having to address the problem.

Hopefully, the next generation will have learned this uncomplicated lesson.

Jerome S. Kaufman

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