Not at all coincidentally, Zionism and the modern, emancipated, assimilated JINOs (Jews In Name Only) were born at the same time and in the same place. In fact, they are twins. Ever since Napoleon’s European blitz of the first decade of the 19th century, Western Europe, especially on the continent, has been shedding its feudal ways and adopting laws that treated everyone equally, regardless of ethnic or religious origin. Especially in the principalities that made up what today is Germany and in the heartlands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today’s Austria and Hungary, this process was kind to the indigenous Jewish populations. Centuries-old ghettos were opened up and their denizens, blinking like people who have are seeing sunlight for the first time in a long time emerged into the public square.
They emerged with few worldly possessions, but they had something better. Total literacy and analytical skills honed by many centuries of studying Jewish law, the Talmud. These Jews took by storm every university in Middle Europe. From their ranks came Freud and Einstein and the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl.
However, the process of liberalization and emancipation did not penetrate the bastions of feudalism that were never occupied, however briefly, by the forward thinking Frenchman of short stature. The Ottoman empire, with its vast territories in the Balkans and southeastern Europe and the Russian Empire in which by far the largest part of the world’s Jewish population then resided remained staunchly conservative, giving their Jewry no outlet for its creative abilities, no way to get ahead in the world.
This gave rise to the so-called “Jewish Question”. The question was simple: In Eastern Europe, from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the shores of the Mediterranean, there lived millions upon millions of totally unassimilated Jews. Jews who were poor, who wore different clothes form their Gentile neighbors, who more often than not spoke a different language, had different names, and whose traditional professions of small-time loan sharking and trades like tailoring and shoe making were already obsolete, taken over by large banks and mass-produced factory goods. These Jews competed with Gentiles for meager resources along the periphery of dying empires, which inevitably led to conflicts known as pogroms.
The rich Jewish elites just a few hundred miles to the West looked on their Eastern European brethren with no less disdain and disgust than the Gentiles did. They wanted nothing to do with them. They were ashamed of them. Since last names are difficult to change, they started giving their children Gentile names like “Albert” and “Theodore” instead of “Baruch” and “Shim’on”, a practice that continues in America today, where most Jews are “Scotts” and “Glenns”. If the Jewish masses in Eastern Europe were to be genocided out of existence, the assimilated German and Austrian Jewry didn’t much care.
Except one guy, an Austrian journalist by the name of Theodor Herzl, who almost singlehandedly created, nursed to life, and funded the Zionist movement. Zionism allowed young and daring Jewish youths from the Russian Empire to emigrate to what was then the Ottoman province of Syria, the southern tip of which was a small sliver of nearly uninhabited and barren land that is known today as Israel. Herzl, a genius fundraiser, funded the Zionist project in part by charity and in part by venture capital. Both came from extremely rich European Jewish families like the Rothschilds, but some was crowd sourced by regular Jews in Europe and even in America. Being able to give money to the Jewish pioneers sweating it out in malaria infested swamps during the day and standing guard against Arab raids at night assuaged the conscience of many an Austrian, German, and American Jew.
Vineyards that today produce excellent award winning Israeli wines were started with Eastern European Jewish muscle and Middle European Jewish money. And then came the Holocaust. The Nazi Germans had no interest in hearing the pleas of the German and Austrian Jews that they were in fact Jews by religion only and since they were not even religious, they were really not Jews at all. They were all slaughtered anyway.
Today, American Jews want one thing and one thing only. To be the kind of 99% assimilated JINO’s that the German and Austrian Jews were a century ago. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to boast about their Jewishness and maintain a network of private schools with names like like Solomon Schechter and private clubs like the Jewish Community Centers that exist in any American city above a certain size, but they also want their Jewishness to be invisible when it comes to their professional and public lives. And to be honest, they almost pulled it off. Almost.
Why not completely? What is standing in the way of the American Jewry’s “assimilation on our own terms” nirvana? Israel, that’s what. Israel is now economically self-sufficient and fully capable of defending itself. With half the world Jews living in Israel, almost seven million people, it is also demographically secure. With its nuclear triad, Israel is capable of delivering a nuclear strike form air, sea, and land to any point on the globe. Countries that have that kind of capability do not perish from the earth.
Much more importantly though, Israel has taken full ownership of the global Jewish brand. Today, when people anywhere in the world hear the word Jew, they think of Israel. To them, especially in the crucial Asia-Pacific region, Israelis and Jews are one and the same. Having traveled extensively around Asia, I was often asked if I spoke “Jewish”. Yes I said, though we call it Hebrew. They were right, my Japanese and Chinese friends. We speak Jewish. The moniker for our language appears only once in the Bible, in the Book of Kings, when the forces of the Assyrian King Sennacherib are laying siege to King Hezekiah’s Jerusalem, the King’s officials on the city walls beg the Assyrians not to speak to them in “Jewish”, doubtlessly out of fear that the regular soldiers next to them will realize the severity of their predicament. “Speak to us in Assyrian,” they say, “we know it.”
And what is that brand, the Israeli and by extension Jewish brand? It is brash, honest, sometimes brutally so. It is militant, forceful, armed to the teeth. It is “don’t mess with me unless you want to be shot on the spot” kind of brand. It is unequivocally, unambiguously nationalist, because the Zionist movement is the self-determination movement of the Jewish nation. It puts the maintenance and the defense of Jewishness above any other consideration, including human rights, equality, and democracy. The Israeli brand is a wild secular success; startups, exits, consumerism and unbridled consumption. It is also Orthodox Judaism, a truly Orthodox Judaism that doesn’t need to be qualified as “Orthodox”, because it does not even for a moment allow or accept the existence of any other Judaism such as Conservative or Reformed.
This brand, the new Jewish brand that was created by Israel and by Israelis is repulsive to 70% of American Jews. They reject all of its components separately and the brand in its entirety. These 70% worship diversity and inclusion, whereas Israel is nationalistic and exclusionary. They reject nation states whereas Israel is the quintessential nation state by definition. They reject borders, while Israel enforces its own with extreme prejudice. They practice, if anything, the 19th century made in America Judaism-lite “religions” of Reformed and Conservative Judaism. Israel does not recognize “rabbis” from these religions and hence it does not recognize the marriages and conversions that are performed by them.
Israel is the poster child for all that is most hated by progressive globalists. Seventy percent of American Jews are progressive globalists. And yet, against their will, by virtue of the last names, by virtue of their birth, they are lumped together with these neanderthal people, these throwbacks to the dark ages, Israelis.
American parties have names that have never meant anything. What they stand for changes with the times. Today, the Democratic Party is the party of progressive globalists and the Republican Party is split. It’s Never Trump wing is on its way to join the Democrats and those who remain belong to a nationalist party. America First! To quote the first national American president in a long time, Trump.
It is natural for a nationalist party to align itself with the quintessentially nationalist Israel. It is equally natural for a rabidly progressive, globalist, and anti-nationalist Democratic party to distance itself from Israel. A funny and very telling scene unfolded on the Fox News show “Outnumbered” when Israeli PM Netanyahu was having a love-fest with President Trump in the Oval Office after Trump recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel. The very Jewish commentator Jessica Tarlov, immediately after the Oval Office segment was over called Trump an anti-Semite. African American Harris Faulkner’s two-inch fake eyelashes flew up with such a force that a hurricane in Brazil seemed all but inevitable. “After all of THIS, you call him an anti-Semite???” she said (paraphrasing). “But Charlottesville,” said the Jewess Jessica.
Seventy percent of American Jews hate what Israel has become. They hate that its doesn’t need them anymore. They hate that it is becoming less and less secular and more and more traditional. They hate it because it is less and less Ashkenazi. They hate it because it loves guns and guns are everywhere in Israel, including the dreaded black ones. They hate it because it is not progressive, or liberal, or inclusive, or diverse. Most of all though, they hate it because it is Israel that owns the global Jewish brand.
Because seventy percent of American Jews hate Israel, the fact that the Republican party today is all in for Israel makes them hate the Republicans more, not less. And because the Democratic Party is now rabidly anti-Israel, it makes them love it more, not less.
But here we come to an interesting point. Just like the Germans in 1933 made no distinction between the perfect German speaking and fully assimilated German Jews and the Yiddish-speaking, unassimilated Polish Jews, the Democratic Party today with its strong Jihad membership makes no difference between a “Scott Goldstein” a devoted Democratic voter and a “Gal Tzan’ani”, an Israeli soldier whose grandparents came back to their historic homeland from Yemen in the 1950’s. To the Ilhan Omars and Rashida Tlaibs of this world, just like to the Adolph Eichmanns, they are all Jews and they all deserve to die.
Like any natural phenomenon, American Jewry is split, but the split is gradual. There is a small, but important center. This center is fast melting though under the twin blazing suns of the Democratic hatred for Israel and the Jews and the Republican love for them. The fact that no Democrat under the age of 70 bothered to address the AIPAC conference last week speaks volumes where the Democratic Party is headed. Ilhan Omar’s rebuke of Speaker Pelosi for her stance against BDS, a rebuke that remained unpunished, speaks even more. Breitbart is reporting that Obama’s anti-Israeli ardor was cooled somewhat by Jewish donors. It is hard to see these donors opening their checkbooks to any of the Democratic candidates currently in the race.
Republicans should continue their support for Israel because it is a good policy for America and they should continue to make their case to the American Jewry. Since most American Jews are few and most live in non-competitive liberal districts and states (except Florida), it is their money that speaks loudest. And this money is not on the fringes; it is in the center, it is held by people who have contributed much to Israel and have been lavishly honored for doing so. They do have a connection to Israel. Many own real estate there. Many more are invested in Israeli startups. These people should be encouraged to quietly, incrementally, unnoticeably yet firmly close their checkbooks to the Democrats. That may prove to be the most patriotic thing they have ever done. Patriotic for both their homelands: Israel and America.