It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman’s post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in postings over a time frame of days (rather than moments) predicated upon the belief in the value of and […]
“This Zionist-Crusader war” is probably the most oft-repeated line invoked by the terrorist-madman Osama bin Laden in his latest rant against the West.
As Bin Laden sees it,
“A war is under way to offend the messenger of Allah, his religion and his Umma (nation). The Muslim preparedness and their jihad should be on a par with these events. The duty of our Muslim nation over this Crusaders’ campaign with its different aspects is to focus on supporting the prophet, his religion and the Umma to the best of our ability in all fields.”
But Bin Laden is not the only one linking together the “Crusaders” with the .00000000000000001 percent of the world population called “Zionists.” In their “report,” “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt ever so casually make the same kind of connection between the Zionist lobby and American Christian leaders. While Jews should own up and take responsibility for their influence, affluence, and power, the cabal-like overtones in the latter’s report is frightening.
Unlike Bin Laden’s rant, what makes the report so disturbing is the fact that these two professors are far from mad. Luckily, the report has been met with a number of responses.
But the great irony as I see it in Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s argument is that far from being right-wing, war-mongering extremists, Jews have been and continue to be at the forefront of every major American liberal peace initiative on Israel and the Middle East. Contrary to popular opinion, Jews (or the Israel lobby) are if anything monolithically liberal.
While there are a few loud and influential right-wing Jews, the vast majority of Jews remain staunch liberals through and through. The fact that there are right-wing Jews ready to wage war against Islam is only proof that Judaism is not monolithic in its politics. I know it comes as a shock to some, but there are Jewish Republicans, and they are entitled to promote their causes, just like the gun lobby, the senior citizens’ lobby etc… and what’s undemocratic about that?