Saturday, August 12, 2006
Red State Jews: Some Liberal Jews Started Realizing That Beliefs About Peace and Violence Not Matching Predictions
Yet, since 9/11 and the second intifada, where suicide bombings and beheadings have become the calling cards of Arab diplomacy, and with Hamas and Hezbollah emerging as elected entities that, paradoxically, reject the first principles of liberal democracy, I feel a great deal of moral anguish. Perhaps I have been naïve all along.
And I am not alone. Many Jews are in my position -- the children and grandchildren of labor leaders, socialists, pacifists, humanitarians, antiwar protestors -- instinctively leaning left, rejecting war, unwilling to demonize, and insisting that violence only breeds more violence. Most of all we share the profound belief that killing, humiliation and the infliction of unnecessary pain are not Jewish attributes.
However, the world as we know it today -- post-Holocaust,post-9/11, post-sanity -- is not cooperating. Given the realities of the new Middle East, perhaps it is time for a reality check.
It is true that Israel has entered into peace agreements
with Egypt and Jordan that have brought some measure of
historic stability to the region. But with Israel having
withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza, and with Israeli public
opinion virtually united in favor of near-total withdrawal
from the West Bank, why are rockets being launched at Israel
now, why are their soldiers being kidnapped if the
aspirations of the Palestinian people, and the intentions of
Hamas and Hezbollah, stand for something other than the
total destruction of Israel? And if Palestinians and the
Lebanese are electing terrorists and giving them the
portfolio of statesmen, then what message is being sent to
moderate voices, what incentives are there to negotiate, and
how can any of this sobering news be recast in a more
The Jewish left is now in shambles. Peace Now advocates have
lost their momentum, and, in some sense, their moral