By Lisa Landau Rudner
If one were to see a proclaimed vegetarian eat meat or hear an avowed civil rights activist spew racial epithets, one might rightly assume those individuals are not true to what they claim to be.
Something nefarious has occurred on the far left of the political spectrum. The term “pro-Israel” has been co-opted and corrupted to mean anything a person or organization declares it to signify. Even the sentiments of “anti-Israel” rhetoric are somehow whitewashed if they are uttered by a self-styled “pro-Israel advocate,” particularly a Jewish one.
True politically progressive and staunchly pro-Israel voices have felt nearly extinguished because they have no echo chamber in the media, no platform sexy enough to attract broadcasters or publishers or social media. Liberal outlets love nothing more than Jews who vilify Israel and then gleefully pair them with fellow Israel-bashers such as Linda Sarsour. And conservative media have no interest in showcasing authentic pro-Israel liberals, leaving genuine pro-Israel Democrats without a microphone or even a tent under which to stand.
Self-appointed “pro-Israel” Jewish leaders on the far left often tragically sow hazardous seeds of anti-Israel dogma in the Diaspora. J Street is part of a chorus of handwringers who bellow loudly about the endless sins of the Israelis to their willing uninformed and unwitting masses, including to young impressionable students.
In a bizarre ironic twist, it is those in the political center and on the right who demonstrate far more respect for Palestinians than do those on the far left. When the Palestinians, through their democratically elected Hamas and Palestinian Authority officials, tell the world their beliefs and their intentions, political moderates and conservatives trust their statements.
The far left sees the Palestinians and their chosen governments as they want them to be, as they wish them to be. That is the height of disrespect and arrogance, and by Jews who live 7,000 miles west of Israel. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have communicated in every way possible their intentions to destroy Israel and to murder Jews. Why don’t these very Jews believe the Palestinians, their elected representatives, their charters, their words, their terrorist actions, their horrifying anti-Semitism, their murdering of innocents in Israel, their arson and their 200,000 missiles aimed at Israel?
Is it some derivative of the Stockholm Syndrome that makes some Jews more comfortable lying with those who espouse Israel’s destruction than with the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces who are sworn to safeguard the Jewish people, including their own parents and kids who live just steps away from Hamas militants?
And to be clear, Israeli soldiers, who would likely prefer to be living lives similar to their university-attending counterparts in the States, serve in an ethically trained, albeit imperfect army. IDF soldiers are not demigods fully able to fight a war against enemy combatants without casualty, or without offending the sensibilities of far-left Jews living nowhere near the Gaza border or even near Israel.
Even if well motivated, what does all of this self-flagellation from Jews living outside of Israel yield? Who does it help? Who does it hurt? Does it aid the Palestinians it purports to defend? Have the Palestinians rewritten their charters or changed their mission? Have they relinquished their claim on all of Israel? Are they now calling for peace with the Israelis? Does it help Israel in its fight against terror? Does it help Israel protect her citizens? Do the Palestinians and her allies around the globe use the words of Jews who propagate anti-Israel positions to elevate themselves? Do pro-Palestinian groups on university campuses engage J Street-sympathetic Jews for their own use? The answers to these questions are so painfully obvious they require no formal response.
Though it would be welcomed, not every Jew must wave the Israeli flag, but to wave the Palestinian flag in the name of some moral high-ground is a perversion of all that is righteous and good in Judaism and in Zionism. For those to whom strength, self-possession and pride in the Jewish State are something to be ashamed of or repulsed by, please stop sermonizing about Israel’s need to be accountable to its own values, values it seems the far left does not share.
Lisa Landau Rudner is a member of the Dallas Jewish community. She is the mother of three; her son Matan is a Lone Soldier in Israel.
By Lisa Landau Rudner