Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Today's Tent Talk

I can't tell you how often in recent years I have read or been told that we Jews need to have a "big tent."

And, no, it isn't a Barnum and Bailey or even a Cirque du Soleil sort of thing, although it certainly sounds like one.

The reason we need a "big tent," we are told, is so that every "progressive" Jew who is feeling left out (due to his/his "progressiveness," which apparently precludes support for Israel) can have a chance to dwell amongst the tribe.

But every time the "big tent" palaver comes up, my immediate reaction is that the real reason "progressives" want one is so they can herd us all in and shut us all up. ("Come into my tent, my big leftist tent, but leave your opinions and your voice at the door. And, oh yeah, ix-nay anything about the ihad-jay, 'kay?")

Caroline Glick, too, is fed up with the tent shtick. Here she is channeling "big tent" Jewry's misplaced (and misbegotten) rage:
For more than a decade, American Jews led by radical rabbis and thought leaders have been threatening Israel.

You are making us embarrassed, Peter Beinart and his supporters have said. We won’t be able to keep supporting Israel if you don’t succumb to all the demands that the PLO and Hamas are making. Their terrorism – that is, their “resistance to occupation” – is understandable.

Israel, they harangue, is losing American Jewry. We are progressives. We stand up for the oppressed against the oppressors. Israelis, you are oppressors and we won’t be able to stand with you and as Jews, we will stand against you.

We will seek common ground with anti-Semites like Roger Waters and Alice Walker and invite them to our most prestigious forums to speak. We will make common cause with terrorist supporters like Linda Sarsour and terrorists like Rasmea Odeh. We will show that we don’t hate Israelis by hosting EU-funded anti-Israel groups like Breaking the Silence at our synagogues and campuses. And we will insist we are pro-Israel and pro-peace and send our checks to J Street, a group that has never sided with Israel on anything.

Over and over again Israel has heard these voices, which are often well-paid and always well-covered by the media. Over and over we have listened to their threats of abandonment.

Rather than criticize them for their hostility and reject their threats, Israeli spokesmen, particularly from the Left, have tried to make these Jewish Israel bashers feel better about Israel.

True, we are “occupiers,” voices like  Haaretz’s former columnist Ari Shavit told his American audiences. But we feel really bad about it so please don’t hate us.

We love you so, please love us back. We are one.

The time has long since passed for Israel to begin a frank exchange with these people.

There are lines you cannot cross and still expect us to care what you think.

Sometimes those lines are crystal clear.
It's also crystal clear that the only way to get Pete and his ilk onside is to enter their "big tent" so that we can all get behind the project of collapsing the Zionist structure, the one they're so ashamed of. (For more on the phenomenon of the ashamed Jew, see UK novelist Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question). That's far too high a price to pay for their allegiance--or for the "honour" of commingling with them under some canvas.

No comments: