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Why (Native-Born American) Jews Are Liberal:

Norman Podhoretz's recent book Why Are Jews Liberals? argues that Jews are overwhelmingly liberal because they have become secular and have turned to political liberalism as a substitute for religion. This Wall Street Journal Podhoretz op ed summarizes his argument.

Podhoretz rejects claims that Jews are liberal because this is required by Jewish religious values; as he points out, the most religious Jews are often the least liberal. He also denies (correctly in my view) that political liberalism advances the self-interest of American Jews, and also notes that in recent decades the right has generally been more supportive of Israel than the left.

While Podhoretz effectively criticizes alternative explanations for Jewish liberalism, his own theory is equally unpersuasive. A key flaw is that it lacks comparative perspective. Jews in other English-speaking democracies, including Britain, Australia, and (more recently) Canada, often either support right of center parties or at least split their vote between right and left in roughly the same proportions as the gentile population. Margaret Thatcher represented a London district with a large Jewish population, and routinely won the nationwide Jewish vote in her three electoral victories.Some of the conservative politicians supported by British and Australian Jews were more moderate than their US Republican counterparts. But that certainly wasn't true of Thatcher, among others. Australian, British, and Canadian Jews are, on average, roughly as secular as American ones. So it isn't necessarily true that secular Jews trend towards the political left as part of their search for an alternative to religion.

Right here in the United States, Podhoretz's analysis ignores the political leanings of Russian immigrant Jews, who constitute up to 12% of the total US Jewish population, are overwhelmingly secular (far more so than native-born Jews), and just as overwhelmingly Republican. The Russian Jewish case also undercuts Podhoretz's theory.

Once one recognizes that lopsided adherence to liberalism is not a universal trait of secular Jews but is largely confined to native-born American ones, Podhoretz's theory collapses. If it were true, British and Australian Jews should be just as left-wing as American ones, and Russian immigrant Jews should be even more liberal than their native-born counterparts.

What then explains the liberalism of native-born American Jews? A key factor that Podhoretz mistakenly downplays is the association between American conservatism and the Christian religious right. That is the main difference between American conservatism and right of center political movements in other English-speaking democracies, which have comparatively weaker Religious Right connections. Most secular American Jews dislike and fear the Religious Right, which they suspect of anti-Semitism and of seeking to impose Christianity as a quasi-official religion. I think such fears are overblown, but not totally off-base. It also does not help that some prominent Religious Right leaders - such as Pat Robertson - continue to flirt with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Podhoretz may be correct in claiming that the Religious Right ultimately poses only a minor threat to American Jews, and is certainly right to point out that many religious conservatives are strongly pro-Israel and have broken with their churches' anti-Semitic past. However, secular Jews' distaste for the Religious Right is a matter of clashing cultural values, not just calculations about threats to specific Jewish interests. Many secular Jews simply don't want to support a political movement that they associate with a group whose values seem alien and threatening. Ironically, Podhoretz's own book inadvertently confirms the importance of the Religious Right as a cause of American Jewish liberalism. He recounts various incidents when he tried to persuade Jewish audiences to vote for the Republicans on the basis of their economic and foreign policy stances, but was met with the response that Jews cannot possibly vote for the Republicans because they support school prayer. On Podhoretz's own account, even many of those Jews who sympathize with Republican positions on economic or foreign policy issues are repelled by the Religious Right factor.

The Religious Right explanation for the liberalism of native-born American Jews also helps explain why Russian immigrant Jews are different. While the latter tend to be highly secular, they have little experience with or knowledge of the US Religious Right and don't tend to focus on them as a crucial historic and cultural enemy. The main recent oppressor of Russian Jews was, of course, the officially atheistic Soviet government.

I am certainly not suggesting that American Jews would be overwhelmingly conservative or Republican if it were not for the Religious Right. But they would be much less overwhelmingly liberal than they are today.

UPDATE: I should note that in my view the Religious Right factor is what explains the overwhelming dominance of liberalism among American Jews today. It does not explain their support for the Democratic Party in earlier periods (e.g. - from the 1930s to the 1950s), when the political situation was very different and Jews themselves were much poorer then they became later. Many other groups were overwhelmingly Democratic at the high point of the New Deal coalition (e.g. - Catholics, "white ethnics," etc.) but became far less so as they became more affluent and the political landscape changed. Strikingly, the Jews did not change similarly, and I believe that the Religious Right factor is a crucial reason why they didn't.

Hadur:
I also think that your theory can be used to explain why atheists are so heavily liberal.
9.16.2009 1:07am
Constantin:
The "seeking to impose Christianity" theory seems plausible to me. The "Religious Right is anti-Semitic" one, not so much. Large swaths of the Left--including, of course, the President's own spiritual mentor--are explicitly anti-Semitic; there's no need for conjecture. That's not dissuaded Jewish voters from siding with them at election time.
9.16.2009 1:10am
josil (mail):
None of the reasons cited above seem to adequately explain the voting pattern of native-born American Jews, and I cannot think of a convincing reason. Regardless, I think the Religious Right is far more favorable to Israel's existence than many who inhabit the Far Left and, for that matter, many who view themselves as "moderates" (e.g., foreign policy "realists").
9.16.2009 1:20am
Student (mail):
Professor Somin,

I was REALLY hoping to get your comments on the review of the Norman Podhoretz book by Leon Wieseltier (it was in the Sunday Times and can easily be found on Google - I'm just having a hard time figuring out how to insert a link here).
9.16.2009 1:22am
Oren:

notes that in recent decades the right has generally been more supportive of Israel than the left.

Many American Jews don't feel that supporting Israel in her counterproductive, and ultimately self-destructive, policies is the best way to ensure our future. This ends up devolving into a pretty ordinary policy debate about how best to secure Israel's future, rather than a plebiscite about whether ought to.
9.16.2009 1:30am
Oren:

On Podhoretz's own account, even many of those Jews who sympathize with Republican positions on economic or foreign policy issues are repelled by the Religious Right factor.

In my (limited, anecdotal, ymmv) experience, even the most religious Jews end up being socially moderate when compared to the RR. As an example, I've never heard any Jew denounce homosexuals in anywhere near the terms that are fairly common from the right.
9.16.2009 1:37am
Mike& (mail):
It also does not help that some prominent Religious Right leaders - such as Pat Robertson - continue to flirt with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories


What? Do you even understand Evangelical Christianity? They are convinced that the Jews are the chosen people; and that Israel must be protected at all costs due to Revelations. It's a nonsense view; but you do need to get a clue.

Here's a speech: http://www.patrobertson.com/Speeches/IsraelLauder.asp

This isn't the first time you've commented on a culture you don't know much about.
9.16.2009 1:41am
Mike& (mail):
Leading the cast of characters in betraying America to Satan are the usual suspects from centuries of conspiracy-mongering: Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, the Federal Reserve, mysterious "European bankers" (all Jewish, coincidentally?), and more.

So being anti-bank means being anti-Jew? That's clearly the implication of the linked-to article. So now one cannot be anti-Wall Street without being anti-Semitic?

Oh, and after the bailouts...Anyone really care to argue that there isn't a conspiracy of bankers running America? I doubt that their goal is the destruction of the Lord Jesus Christ, King of King and Lord of Hosts. Still, Robertson's loony views about banks aren't too far off - unless it's just a coincidence that Goldman Sachs was saved from bankruptcy to have a record year of earnings.
9.16.2009 1:44am
Student (mail):
Oren,

How many Orthodox Jews do you know, and how well do you know them? I would encourage you to distinguish, for instance, between what is generally termed "Modern Orthodox" Jewry, and what is generally termed "Ultra-Orthodox Jewry) - two groups that embody substantially different worldviews. While many within the former group disapprove of homosexuality for religious reasons, they are much more sensitive to the issue and understanding of the opposite perspective (and much more temperate when speaking about it) than the Religious Right. Within the latter group, you are much more likely to find those who speak just as loudly and emphatically about their disapproval of homosexuality as many on the Religious Right.
9.16.2009 1:50am
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Let me suggest that the secular Jews in this country headed left long before conservatism became closely associated with the Christian religious right. Rather, I would suggest that the more evangelical and religiously conservative Christians tended to be Democrats until, probably, Nixon's Southern Strategy headed the Republican party in a religiously conservative direction.
9.16.2009 1:52am
Ilya Somin:
What? Do you even understand Evangelical Christianity? They are convinced that the Jews are the chosen people; and that Israel must be protected at all costs due to Revelations. It's a nonsense view; but you do need to get a clue.

This is not incompatible with endorsement of various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Just check out Robertson's book The New World Order.
9.16.2009 1:59am
Ilya Somin:
Let me suggest that the secular Jews in this country headed left long before conservatism became closely associated with the Christian religious right.

The question is not why secular Jews were liberal 40 or 50 years ago, but why they remained so under the very different circumstances of the last several decades.
9.16.2009 2:01am
TGGP (mail) (www):
Ross Douthat wants a more "European" GOP because Europe is the home of Christian Democratic parties. Our own right is viewed as excessively libertarian (though also unusually "right wing" in some other respects as well).

Half Sigma thinks fear of Christianity drives Jewish liberalism. I provided some support for that racing his theory against a Kevin MacDonald style group (i.e racial/ethnic) interests one. But recently I've been moving toward a combination Glaeser-Slezkine view the kind of traits found among modern/urban populations.
9.16.2009 2:04am
/:
Our own right is viewed as excessively libertarian

If a European told me that's why they didn't like American conservatives, I would thank them profusely.
9.16.2009 2:08am
Oren:
Student, I know many dozens of Orthodox (as affiliated with the OU) Jews. They all, without exception, condemn homosexuality as contrary to Divine Law and and opines that society ought to disapprove.

None of them, however, characterize homosexuals as "making war on god" or "engaged in a plot to corrupt wholesome values". Most consider homosexuals to be wayward sinners, not agents of the Devil Himself bent on nefarious ends.

There is a reflection of this value in the old Jewish tale of the Rooster Prince -- there is no utility in railing against those who err.
9.16.2009 2:25am
Oren:

This is not incompatible with endorsement of various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Just check out Robertson's book The New World Order.

Indeed. There's something very perverse in seeing another religion as being a means to your sectarian ends.

I would much rather Robertson et. al. withdraw this insincere support for Israel and the Jews or, better yet, decide to respect us in our own right.
9.16.2009 2:27am
Ari Taz:
Oren,

That's precisely my point. The OU is one of the major rabbinic organizations representing Modern Orthodox Judaism. Ultra-Orthodox Jewry is somewhat of a different story.
9.16.2009 2:32am
yankee (mail):
Jews in other English-speaking democracies, including Britain, Australia, and (more recently) Canada, often either support right of center parties or at least split their vote between right and left in roughly the same proportions as the gentile population.
I don't think this is as strong an argument as you seem to think because the "center" is not in the same place everywhere. As a general matter, the U.S. is more conservative than the other rich democracies. The Democrats, the left-wing party in the U.S., would be a right-wing party in Europe. Thus it's possible that e.g. Norwegian Jews could have the same substantive views as their American counterparts while being "right of center," because the political center in Norway is left of the political center in the U.S.
9.16.2009 2:34am
Seth M.:

Many American Jews don't feel that supporting Israel in her counterproductive, and ultimately self-destructive, policies is the best way to ensure our future. This ends up devolving into a pretty ordinary policy debate about how best to secure Israel's future, rather than a plebiscite about whether ought to.


That's a tiny subset that exists more as a rhetorical flourish than as a reality. Phil Weiss, Matt Yglesias, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Howard Zinn and their ilk have absolutely no interest in preserving a Jewish and democratic Israel.

Generally, those that oppose "the counterproductive and ultimately self destructive policies" of Israel ultimately oppose the existence of Israel when it gets down to brass tacks.

The debate over settlements is very informative -- and following the Chomskyites down the rabbit hole is where we learn the truth.

Chomsky openly advocates a binational single state, right?

Chomsky claims that Israel is sowing the seeds of its own destruction and making a binational, single state inevitable by building homes and schools beyond the 1949 cease fire lines, right?

Ergo, Chomsky thinks settlements are ultimately a good thing because they will lead to the ideal single-state solution, right? No? Well, that sure is curious, isn't it?

I'd go so far as to say that when the anti-Israel left and the Juicebox Mafia start claiming a particularly Israeli policy is "counterproductive and ultimately self-destructive", it's a good bet that said policy is actually making Israel stronger and more secure.

But that's more than a little bit of a tangent.
9.16.2009 2:40am
Oren:

That's precisely my point. The OU is one of the major rabbinic organizations representing Modern Orthodox Judaism. Ultra-Orthodox Jewry is somewhat of a different story.

I consider them a fairly good barometer for the Orthodox in general. Moreover, numerically speaking, anyone significantly to the right of the OU is very far (2 sigma) out of the mainstream of American Jewish opinion and not really germane to this thread.
9.16.2009 2:40am
Oren:

That's a tiny subset that exists more as a rhetorical flourish than as a reality. Phil Weiss, Matt Yglesias, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Howard Zinn and their ilk have absolutely no interest in preserving a Jewish and democratic Israel.

Did you use your mind-ray to figure that out or just break into their houses and read their diary?


I'd go so far as to say that when the anti-Israel left and the Juicebox Mafia start claiming a particularly Israeli policy is "counterproductive and ultimately self-destructive", it's a good bet that said policy is actually making Israel stronger and more secure.

Indeed, perhaps they are mistaken about the consequences of their actions.

Your obvious inability to distinguish between difference of means and differences of ends, on the other hand, seems quite intentional.
9.16.2009 2:43am
eyesay:
University of California, Berkeley, professor of cognitive linguistics George Lakoff wrote Moral Politics in 1996. It explains a lot. There are two models how to raise children and inculcate them with a coherent set of moral values. They are characterized as nurturing parent morality and strict father morality. The thing is, Jewish families in America have, probably for more than a century, overwhelmingly subscribed to nurturing parent morality. Strict father morality teaches that children are born bad and have to be made good. This and other precepts of strict-father morality make no sense to Jews. Professor Somin, please read Moral Politics and see if it doesn't explain why most American Jews find conservatism to be an utterly bizarre, foreign, and backward way to think about the world.

By the way, I would argue that the center-right of Canada, the UK, and Australia, are comfortably in the left of the United States. Consider foreign policy. The United States deposed the legitimately elected Allende government in Argentina, supported Contra terror in Nicaragua (funded by illegal sales of weapons to Iran), and got involved in a war in Iraq costing at least hundreds of billions. It's been awhile since Canada did anything like that. What center-right politicians in Canada, the UK, and Australia want to replace their health care systems with the American system?
9.16.2009 2:52am
Leo Marvin (mail):
When I was growing in the 1960's neither I nor any of my many liberal Jewish friends would have known what you were talking about if you said "religious right." If we had to associate anti-Semitism with a particular group, it would have been the KKK, and to a lesser extent the John Birch Society, both nominally Christian right wing groups, but not religiously so.

Anyway, the central organizing theme of Jewish life was the Holocaust, which had occurred only a generation before. And despite the breathtaking revisionism we sometimes see on these threads, Nazism and its ideological brethren were pretty much universally associated with the right wing. So liberal politics wasn't so much an article of religious faith as a matter of self-preservation.

By the time I was in high school, disabling anti-Semitism was over as a practical matter. And we were taught there was a twofold obligation that attached to the opportunities we were the first Jews ever, anywhere to be afforded. The first was gratitude, and the second was a commitment to the same opportunities for everyone still suffering the discrimination we'd only recently broken free of. Again that meant liberal legislation and jurisprudence. Not necessarily Democratic, in fact often Republican, but always liberal.

I can't say for sure how this distinguishes American Jews from Jews in any of the other countries you mentioned. Obviously Jews everywhere had the same identification with the Holocaust. But, except for Australia, I don't think the other countries had the large, persistently disadvantaged ethnic underclass that were (and mostly still are) African-Americans. And they were the central focus of our continuing commitment to civil rights.
9.16.2009 2:53am
Ilya Somin:
I don't think this is as strong an argument as you seem to think because the "center" is not in the same place everywhere. As a general matter, the U.S. is more conservative than the other rich democracies. The Democrats, the left-wing party in the U.S., would be a right-wing party in Europe.

I think I specifically dealt with this argument by 1) limiting my analysis to English-speaking nations where the political spectrum is closer to that in the US, and 2) noting that British and Australian leaders have voted for conservative leaders like Thatcher who are just as right of center on economic and foreign policy issues as the US Republicans.
9.16.2009 2:54am
David M. Nieporent (www):
What? Do you even understand Evangelical Christianity? They are convinced that the Jews are the chosen people; and that Israel must be protected at all costs due to Revelations. It's a nonsense view; but you do need to get a clue.

Here's a speech: http://www.patrobertson.com/Speeches/IsraelLauder.asp

This isn't the first time you've commented on a culture you don't know much about.
Someone who doesn't even know the name of the Biblical book he's commenting on probably shouldn't condemn other people for not knowing what they're talking about. (There is no "Revelations.")
9.16.2009 2:55am
Seth M.:

Did you use your mind-ray to figure that out or just break into their houses and read their diary?


There's only one name on that list who doesn't openly and publicly advocate for the destruction of Israel, though he does approvingly link to those who do quite often.

But go on, rally to the defense of the likes of Chomsky, Finkelstein and Zinn. And when you say you really have Israel's best interests at heart, I'll know to take it with a grain of salt big enough to supply Frito-Lay for decades.
9.16.2009 2:56am
eyesay:
Seth M. wrote, "Generally, those that oppose 'the counterproductive and ultimately self destructive policies' of Israel ultimately oppose the existence of Israel when it gets down to brass tacks." Evidence suggests otherwise. A significant portion of the Israeli population vote for political parties that oppose the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories, and they don't oppose the existence of Israel. Why should American Jews who agree with them on the settlements disagree with them on the desirability of Israel's continued existence?

I haven't seen poll results, but I would bet that a majority or at least a very large minority of American Jews (A) support the existence of Israel and (B) believe that Israel should not expand settlements in the occupied territories, but to the contrary should shut down some of them and repatriate their inhabitants to within pre-1967 borders. Palestinians have more children, and in a few years, there will be a non-Jewish majority if Israel holds on to the territories. Demographics suggests that planning to hold on to the territories forever is indeed "ultimately self destructive" to Israel.
9.16.2009 3:06am
Mark N. (www):
While I agree the religious right is part of it, I think some broader cultural-conservative values besides the Christianity are at work as well. When the Republican Party trots out its view of an ideal American, it tends to be the Heartland Conservative, a gun-owning fellow living on a farm in Nebraska, who likes hunting or fishing in his spare time. Demographically, not very many such Heartland Conservatives are Jews. And when the Republicans trot out a bogeyman, it's the "coastal elite"--- well-educated cosmopolitans who live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, or Boston. Demographically, quite a few such people are Jews. Certainly many more than are Nebraska farmers.
9.16.2009 3:34am
Ricardo (mail):
Podhoretz may be correct in claiming that the Religious Right ultimately poses only a minor threat to American Jews, and is certainly right to point out that many religious conservatives are strongly pro-Israel and have broken with their churches' anti-Semitic past.

And hey, some of their best friends are Jews also! In my past life, I attended several events aimed at young Republicans and conservatives and was struck at how I felt like I was at a country club during these events. I think secular Jews are likely to make that connection as well, even if there is no overt anti-Semitism.

When someone is talking about how the U.S. is a Christian nation and about the role Christianity or the Catholic Church has in creating Western civilization, I don't imagine it's too difficult for Jews to feel as though they are being given short-shrift. Much of the talk of "Judeo-Christian" culture or values can also come across as a bit insincere.
9.16.2009 3:37am
jab:
I agree with Mark. I think its more of an urban/rural divide. When you analyze recent presidential elections, it's not driven so much by red state/blue state dynamics, but cosmopolitan urbanites vs. rural/exurban dwellers.
9.16.2009 3:43am
Ricardo (mail):
An example of the country club mentality concerning -- who else? -- William F. Buckley:

Sam Tanenhaus: Athwart History: How William F. Buckley turned against the war--and his own movement:To this day, Buckley's politics are grounded less in democratic values--"Democracy just doesn't work, much of the time," he observed in a 2004 column--than in the twin virtues of Catholicism and capitalism.... Gradually, [National Review] became less Catholic than "Christian." But that was the limit of Buckley's ecumenicalism. In 1997, when he was scouring the ranks of talented younger conservatives to find a new editor for National Review, Buckley eliminated one prospect, his one time protege David Brooks, a rising star at The Weekly Standard. In a memo to board members, Buckley reported that he had discussed Brooks with NR alum George Will: "I said that I thought it would be wrong for the next editor to be other than a believing Christian. [emphasis added] He agreed and added that the next editor should not be a Canadian"--a possible reference to conservative writer David Frum...


From Brad Delong
9.16.2009 3:47am
Seth M.:

(B) believe that Israel should not expand settlements in the occupied territories, but to the contrary should shut down some of them and repatriate their inhabitants to within pre-1967 borders.


So even your dovish "at least a large minority" favors annexation of land beyond the green line and maintaining at least some settlements?

I'd say only a tiny minority of American Jews want Israel to move back beyond the Green Line, and I think your caveats suggest you recognize this as well.

But sure, you could word a poll such that a majority would oppose "further settlement construction" beyond the 1949 cease-fire line.

And I could word a poll such that an even larger majority would support continued Jewish presence beyond the 1949 cease-fire line.
9.16.2009 4:20am
Oren:


When someone is talking about how the U.S. is a Christian nation and about the role Christianity or the Catholic Church has in creating Western civilization, I don't imagine it's too difficult for Jews to feel as though they are being given short-shrift. Much of the talk of "Judeo-Christian" culture or values can also come across as a bit insincere.

Moreover, the hostility that some of the religious right feels towards other Christian denominations is truly terrifying.

You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.
-- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 14, 1991 (unrecanted, as far as we know)

If he could seriously believe that adherents of different denominations are the spirit of the antichrist, it worries me what he might think of those don't believe in Christ at all.
9.16.2009 4:46am
BGates:
I felt like I was at a country club during these events. I think secular Jews are likely to make that connection as well, even if there is no overt anti-Semitism.

That sounds like a phobia.

Much of the talk of "Judeo-Christian" culture or values can also come across as a bit insincere.

I'm at a loss to imagine the next step after the elimination of anti-Semitism and the praise of shared culture and values. What would you have Republicans do?
9.16.2009 5:02am
BGates:
Nazism and its ideological brethren were pretty much universally associated with the right wing.

What do you mean by "right wing", and did it mean the same thing in Germany that it does in the United States?
9.16.2009 5:06am
interruptus:
I think the role of recreational hunting as a cultural touchstone in American conservatism might be underrated as a repelling force. Almost no Jews hunt, and the prohibition on recreational hunting is so widely held, from the most liberal to the most conservative of rabbis, that it's even rubbed off on many secular Jews.

It lines up with the comparisons as well. I suspect (though would be interested in evidence either way) that negative views of hunting are less widely held among Russian-born Jews than among American-born Jews. And as far as the UK, Canada, and Australia go, I don't think recreational hunting has nearly the same cultural status among their conservatives as it does among ours.
9.16.2009 5:16am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Irving Kristol addressed this very subject in his essay of liberalism and American Jews. The original appeared in Commentary Magazine, but you can read it for free here. At the outset he posed the question as why Jews have the status of Episcopalian Wasps, but vote like low income Hispanics. Indeed. It's perfectly rational for Hispanics to want an expanding federal government because, for the most part, they don't have to pay for it. But why should Jews support the largess they don't get? Other groups have shed their urban liberalism as they move up the economic ladder-- why do Jews and pretty much Jews alone cling to it?

Even if you don't agree with Kristol's explanation, his essay is still worth reading.
9.16.2009 5:22am
BGates:
And when the Republicans trot out a bogeyman, it's the "coastal elite"

Whereas when Democrats do it, it's "Wall Street" (or, lately, greedy limb-stealing doctors). And a few years ago, it was "neocons", if you know what I mean.
9.16.2009 5:37am
zywotkowitz (mail):
One must distinguish between the old-style liberals and the for-now-ascendant "progressives".

Jews can have little common ground with the progressives, as their vision of a world in which all ideologies get together and hug leaves no room for a Jewish community that wishes to marry among itself, educate itself etc. Just as it allows no room for Israel to defend itself.
9.16.2009 5:39am
Oren:

What would you have Republicans do?

Start acting like Christianity is just one religion among many, as opposed to have a monopoly on defining morality? That is, start with the fundamental proposition that my religion is fine for me and your religion is fine for you. Of course, if doing so in anathema to their beliefs, then they are free to reject that line of thinking. Just don't expect people of other religions to support your position of religious superiority.

That is, you ask a question "What would you have Republicans do", as if it's foregone that their values are compatible with the audience. If the GOP sincerely believe that Christianity deserves a privileged status in the American discourse, then there's just not room in the tent for Jews, Hindus or Muslims.

[ Not coincidentally, this is a major component of Judaism -- we have no desire that the whole world be Jewish. Judaism is a religion for the Jews. ]
9.16.2009 6:09am
Ricardo (mail):
BGates:

I'm at a loss to imagine the next step after the elimination of anti-Semitism and the praise of shared culture and values. What would you have Republicans do?

Be able to use the word "secular" as something other than a term of derision. These guys do so but the whole point of creating a conservative blog pushing secular values is that it is novel. One of their contributors, by the way, is John Derbyshire who really isn't to the left of anyone. If the Republican Party did this, I bet their share of the Jewish vote would be much higher than it is.

Zarkov:

That Jews vote against their (perceived, by the author) class interest isn't anything novel. Upper class blacks are strongly pro-Democrat and were much more enthusiastic about Obama's candidacy in the initial stages than lower-income, less-educated blacks were. On the other side, low-income Southern whites vote Republican in large numbers despite the fact that they would benefit from Democrats' social programs to the same extent Jews would not, on net, benefit.

And a lot of those WASPy neighbors are voting for Democrats these days also, at least if they live in big cities. I grew attending an Episcopal Church in a big city and I'm pretty sure the overwhelming majority of young (< 40 years old) church members were voting Democrats. These people (who were nearly all white and Anglo-Saxon) inevitably lived within the city, were childless, possessed advanced degrees and, in a few cases, were openly gay men or women. The ones who were at least middle-aged, had families and lived in the suburbs could have been anywhere on the political spectrum, though.
9.16.2009 6:17am
Eric Muller (www):
Leo Marvin is right. Take what he said and add in the fact that most people tend to draw their political worldview from that of their parents, and you're most of the way to an answer to Ilya's question.
9.16.2009 6:26am
Eric Muller (www):
Why most American Jews find themselves to the left of center is a frequent meme on this right-of-center blog with many Jewish bloggers.

I find myself wishing for a little more blogged introspection: what, in our Jewish bloggers' own view, accounts for their own (brand of) conservatism? Why is it that 19th- and early-20th-century Russian Jewish immigrants and their descendants were/are to the left of center, while those who immigrated in the latter part of the 20th century (and their offspring) are on the political right? For those VC bloggers who are Jewish and who go to shul and/or move in social circles with lots of Jews, what does it feel like to be a conservative?
9.16.2009 6:44am
Cornellian (mail):
You could probably make the argument that plenty of other groups (Hispanics, atheists, gay people) would support the Republican party more than they currently do for economic or foreign policy reasons, but for being alienated by the Religious Right.
9.16.2009 7:13am
Ronrt:
Since a majority of all groups other than white Christians and Cubans vote Democratic, the issue is not that particularly interesting.
9.16.2009 7:38am
Teller:
I agree somewhat, who else talks about a Christian nation and useing Isreal for the purposes of Christian eschatology. These are repugnant to Jews.
9.16.2009 7:59am
neurodoc:
eyesay: The United States deposed the legitimately elected Allende government in Argentina, supported Contra terror in Nicaragua (funded by illegal sales of weapons to Iran)...
Wrong as to the South American country (Chile, not Argentina), and the rest tendentious.

The US may have encouraged them, but it was the Chilean military under Pinochet who deposed Allende. And there was a civil war in Nicaragua with "terror" visited by each side on the other, as is almost always the case in civil wars. If you preferred the Sandinistas, Daniel Ortega et al. to the Contras, then you were with Castro and others of his ilk, who loved the Sandistas, seeing them as another revolutionary front in the Americas. (No argument from me that that weapons sale was illegal as well as a stupid undertaking.)
9.16.2009 8:10am
neurodoc:
Interesting thread, and notably civil (at least the posts I've read so far). David Bernstein might have said exactly Ilya Somin has said above, but I expect that had DB been the author, this would have quickly degenerated into a food fight with much angry commentary, some it frankly deranged, and a great deal of ad hominem directed at DB.
9.16.2009 8:16am
sputnik (mail):
don't worry.
Immigrants with the brains and their kids are turning away in disgust from modern republicans
9.16.2009 8:24am
neurodoc:
Seth M: That's a tiny subset that exists more as a rhetorical flourish than as a reality. Phil Weiss, Matt Yglesias, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Howard Zinn and their ilk have absolutely no interest in preserving a Jewish and democratic Israel.
Oren: Did you use your mind-ray to figure that out or just break into their houses and read their diary?
Are you claiming that those individuals (especially the last three) are in favor of "preserving a Jewish and democratic Israel," or that it is unclear from their utterances what they favor in this regard? I don't see how either is at all plausible. Can you cite anything that would contradict or cause one to question "(they) and their ilk have absolutely no interest in preserving a Jewish and democratic Israel"?
9.16.2009 8:27am
neurodoc:
sputnik: Immigrants with the brains and their kids are turning away in disgust from modern republicans
Any evidence to cite in support of that contention, especially where Jews from the FSU, Israel and elsewhere are concerned? Or just projection on your part?

[sputnik, may we ask if you yourself are of Russian origin or the handle appealed to you for other reasons?]
9.16.2009 8:31am
sputnik (mail):
Oh, and btw due to their high intellectual and moral powers majority of Jews in ANY country are overwhelmingly liberal
9.16.2009 8:31am
sputnik (mail):
my life here , my friends and relatives and their friends and relatives with their relatives and friends etc, etc...
Besides even moderate repubs are turning in disgust away from the GOP-the circus clowns' organization of 21 century
9.16.2009 8:35am
Connecticut Yankee:
Are secular Jews more liberal than similarly-secular, similarly-educated gentiles in the same parts of the country? It's not evident to me that they are.
9.16.2009 8:36am
Pragmaticist:
A lot of Jewish so-called "conservatives" are really much more libertarian than conservative. And what is a libertarian other than a liberal who realizes that free markets are the best way to reduce poverty and misery and that government power and control --even democratically based--- is something to be severely limited for the benefit of humanity.
9.16.2009 8:41am
Hugh59:
Well, let's see. I am a secular Jew. My parents' families came from the Ukraine. My mom's family were Republicans. My dad voted Democrat until he married mom (though he took pride in saying that he voted for JFK). Dad spent 1935 to 1941 in Asia so he missed most of the great depression.

I am a conservative and a Republican mostly because that is what my parents were. However, that was just the starting point. I have my own reasons for voting GOP these days; mainly because I don't believe that government can do everything that progressives and liberals want it to do.

I live in Columbus, Ohio and there is a pretty good sized colony of secular Jews (raised Reformed) who align with the GOP here.

I think there is some truth to Podhoretz's theory but that it is just one factor among many. Some of these other factors have been discussed above.

There is some fear of the religious right; but some of that fear is based on myths and inaccurate information (which is not to say that some religious right figures have never made stupid or insensitive statements concerning Jews).

I have some first hand experience with the religious right; I spent 2 years working for the Christian Coalition of America in its DC office. Pat Robertson is a bit more complicated than most people would realize. While I did not work closely with him (or even spend much time in his presence) I had enough exposure to him to see him as a person and not as a "figure."

I remember reading Bonfire of the Vanities in the mid 80s and there is a passage where a Jewish character (a prosecutor) is introduced. IIRC, there was a statement that liberal politics were like a religion to people like that character. I can't remember the passage precisely, but when I read it back then it felt consistent with my experiences with liberal jews.

The services in the Reformed synogogue I attended as a child included many messages that were overtly liberal and political. Even then I thought those messages were hopelessly idealistic.

Pardon my misspellings and odd flows of thought; it is very hard to type a coherent message on a tiny smartphone screen.
9.16.2009 8:44am
neurodoc:
Hugh59, so Marshall Wittman wasn't the only Jew working for the Christian Coalition. Anything to say about Jay Selkowitz, who didn't just go to work for Christian causes, but converted and became a prominent member of the Christian Right, calling upon other Jews to convert?

[Hugh59, I don't suppose you happen to know yankev, another frequent commentor in threads like this one, who like you resides in Columbus, do you?]
9.16.2009 8:54am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I agree somewhat, who else talks about a Christian nation and useing Isreal for the purposes of Christian eschatology. These are repugnant to Jews.
The only people who talk about the latter are left-wing Jewish leaders.
9.16.2009 9:00am
Boblipton:
Eh? I would think that Jews are politically liberalat least in part because their parents are and so were their grandparents. I've got one grandfather who was a union organizer during the Depression and a Marxist.

Bob
9.16.2009 9:09am
wm13:
Are secular Jews more liberal than similarly-secular, similarly-educated gentiles in the same parts of the country?

Now I think we are getting somewhere. In my experience, secular Jews are not more liberal than other secular Americans of the same region and economic status. However, Jews generally are much more secular than Christians, and that is the reason they are more liberal.

I don't think it has much to do with region and class. I woule estimate that, at the average Park Avenue cocktail party, the Jewish guests will 90% Democratic, whereas the Christian guests will be about 50/50. Correspondingly, you'll also find that many of the Christian guests go to church fairly often (like at least 10 times a year), whereas very few of the Jews engage in any religious ritual 10 times a year.
9.16.2009 9:14am
JPG:
Jews in other English-speaking democracies, including Britain, Australia, and (more recently) Canada, often either support right of center parties or at least split their vote between right and left in roughly the same proportions as the gentile population. Margaret Thatcher represented a London district with a large Jewish population, and routinely won the nationwide Jewish vote in her three electoral victories.Some of the conservative politicians supported by British and Australian Jews were more moderate than their US Republican counterparts. But that certainly wasn't true of Thatcher, among others. Australian, British, and Canadian Jews are, on average, roughly as secular as American ones.

No offense Mr. Somin, but one must be utterly misinformed on Canadian, Australian and British political spectrum to rely on such argument. For one, Canadian PM, Stephen Harper, often is depicted as being dangerously conservative in national media, he nervertheless would be standing much to the left of Obama, would they be compared by their policies and their political platforms in general.

Also, Canadian, Brisith and Australian multiculturalism are more likely to be attractive to non-christian populations than the Republican rigidity towards secularism. There somehow is a political consensus in these countries between the left and the right as to this matter. The Glenn Becks, Bill O'Reillys and Rush Limbaughs do exist in these countries, but they don't enjoy a national audience, are considered as marginal extremists and, more importantly, are generally dissociated from the main political factions, not embedded within one of them.
9.16.2009 9:15am
Gabriel McCall (mail):
One might speculate that the reason Russian emigrès tend to vote Republican is that they've seen firsthand the results of leftist economic policies.
9.16.2009 9:17am
Wisconsin Lawyer 5 (mail):
My only question is: Why as a Jew am I automatically assumed by many on the political Right as being a citizen of both the US and of Israel?

Why am I supposed to be automatically in favor of anything that the Israeli government does? Are American Catholics always polled as to their views on Vatican political policies?

The only answer I can come up with is the an implicit misunderstanding (perhaps cynically intentional) by many on the Right that makes that think that everyone in a "group" is automatically of the same mind. It seems to be a part of the Right's "Us versus Them" team analogy that is driving the Conservative Party into the ground.

This is just as insulting as when Justice Sotomayor was questioned by Senator Sessions during her confirmation as to why she didn't vote identically to her fellow Puerto Rican judge on the Circuit Court due.

http://thinkprogress.org/ 2009/07/14/sessions- sotomayor-prldef/
9.16.2009 9:23am
martinned (mail) (www):

I think I specifically dealt with this argument by 1) limiting my analysis to English-speaking nations where the political spectrum is closer to that in the US, and 2) noting that British and Australian leaders have voted for conservative leaders like Thatcher who are just as right of center on economic and foreign policy issues as the US Republicans.

...and way further left in every other policy area.
9.16.2009 9:25am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
JPG,

Except we also have just as many firebrands on the left. It has taken some time for them to get organized enough to make a dent in the media radar, but I see that as a growth problem rather than lack of market for the message.

One thing to keep in mind about Rush, he is very forthright about being first and foremost an entertainer. Much like Howard Stern he has simply found his audience and is going to ride it as far as it will go. I don't know whether Beck thinks of himself in those terms, he may honestly think of himself as more of an activist, I just don't know.
9.16.2009 9:29am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
somin:

Many secular Jews simply don't want to support a political movement that they associate with a group whose values seem alien and threatening.


Yes, the Religious Right is a major reason why Jews find the GOP repellent. But this is not terribly different than what we see with educated people, in general. People with lots of education (and not just Jews) vote D. Probably for reasons similar to the reasons you explained. For example, anyone who believes in science is going to have a natural tendency to see the RR as "alien and threatening."

I see Cornellian made a similar point. Likewise for Connecticut Yankee.

===================
constantin:

Large swaths of the Left--including, of course, the President's own spiritual mentor--are explicitly anti-Semitic


Good thing you're smarter than Abe Foxman: "the Anti-Defamation League says it has no evidence of any anti-Semitism by Mr. Wright."

===================
mike:

What? Do you even understand Evangelical Christianity? They are convinced that the Jews are the chosen people; and that Israel must be protected at all costs due to Revelations.


somin:

many religious conservatives are strongly pro-Israel


As Teller pointed out, using Israel for the purpose of Christian eschatology is repugnant to Jews. Jews understand that their evangelical 'friends' don't foresee a happy ending for Jews in Israel.

===================
ricardo:

When someone is talking about how the U.S. is a Christian nation


Indeed. The official platform of the Texas GOP says "America is a Christian nation."

I recently listed various other examples of GOP antisemitism, here.

===================
oren:

If he could seriously believe that adherents of different denominations are the spirit of the antichrist, it worries me what he might think of those don't believe in Christ at all.


A good clue regarding what evengelicals think about "those don't believe in Christ at all" can be found by reading the Left Behind series, which has sold 65 million copies.

===================
neuro:

Immigrants with the brains and their kids are turning away in disgust from modern republicans


Any evidence to cite in support of that contention, especially where Jews from the FSU, Israel and elsewhere are concerned?


Obama's victory margin among voters under 30 was 34% . Among those with a postgraduate education, his margin was 18%. Among Jews, his margin was 57%.

On the other hand, McCain's margin among White Evangelical/Born-Again was 50%. Quite a polarized picture. A typical McCain voter would be a white evangelical male, over 65, no college, living in the South, in a rural area. Owns a gun and attends church weekly.

This data isn't specifically about "Jews from the FSU, Israel and elsewhere," but it's suggestive.

===================
nieporent:

I agree somewhat, who else talks about a Christian nation and useing Isreal for the purposes of Christian eschatology. These are repugnant to Jews.


The only people who talk about the latter are left-wing Jewish leaders.


The Left Behind series uses Israel for the purpose of Christian eschatology, and the authors are not "left-wing Jewish leaders."

===================
soronel:

we also have just as many firebrands on the left


The analogy doesn't work. There is no one on the left with comparable audience, clout, and irrationality.

One thing to keep in mind about Rush, he is very forthright about being first and foremost an entertainer.


Yes, it's part of his shtick to pretend he's not in charge of the GOP. Trouble is, various elected Republicans treat him like he is. When a GOP rep said Rush is "just an entertainer," he ended up groveling and changing his tune: "the congressman believes Rush is a great leader of the conservative movement."
9.16.2009 9:41am
sputnik (mail):
somebody already mentioned it up thread.
Immigrants from USSR and not only Jewish , were driven to the republicans for many years , just because it was in their estimation as far away as from where they were in old country.
That mindset still prevails in older generation .
And like I said many of those and their kids are turning away from the crazy mind boggling idiocy of the 21 century GOP.
But the immigrants who came after the collapse of the GOP are much more diverse and worldly.
They had access to more info about Western world, many already were able to travel before making the decision to immigrate.
And they see the ugliness of the American right extremes' as much disgusting and disturbing as the ugliness of the old communists.
9.16.2009 9:43am
sputnik (mail):
sorry meant : "immigrants who came after the collapse of the USSR"
9.16.2009 9:44am
Seamus (mail):
He also denies (correctly in my view) that political liberalism advances the self-interest of American Jews, and also notes that in recent decades the right has generally been more supportive of Israel than the left.

Are the two clauses in this sentence meant to be related? If so, then would point out that being "generally more supportive of Israel" isn't a sign of "the self-interest of American Jews" (emphasis added), unless they all have dual citizenship or are planning to retire to Israel.
9.16.2009 9:49am
Seamus (mail):
In my past life, I attended several events aimed at young Republicans and conservatives and was struck at how I felt like I was at a country club during these events. I think secular Jews are likely to make that connection as well, even if there is no overt anti-Semitism.

Yeah, a country club at which Jews are welcome. Sounds pretty scary to me.
9.16.2009 9:51am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
JBG,

As I said, I believe that lack of audience is just an organizational issue and appears to be getting worked out, rather than lack of market for the message. Air America failed, but msnbc's Olberman and Maddow(sp?) are getting there in terms of audience.

Perhaps you don't see them as left firebrands. Given that both are still stuck on Bush hatred rather than current events I have a hard time seeing that however.
9.16.2009 9:54am
Teller:
David


I agree somewhat, who else talks about a Christian nation and useing Isreal for the purposes of Christian eschatology. These are repugnant to Jews.

The only people who talk about the latter are left-wing Jewish leaders.


Really? I don't think the 63% of US evangelical Christians that Pew surveyed in 2003 are Jewish leaders. Those 63% believe that Isreal fulfills the biblical prophesy of Jesus' second coming. (Compared with 36% of all those surveyed.)
9.16.2009 10:02am
JPG:
Soronel Haetir, you completely missed my point, the characters I mentioned - should they comment, with the same flavour, in Canadian, British or Australian media - would have a harder time finding sponsors, for their views would be considered much more on the far right over here than they are by the American public. I did not address their the market share they hold in the media, that is an entirely different discussion.
9.16.2009 10:02am
Rabbi Michael Simon:
As a rabbi of a predominently senior citizen congregation (as well as a former attorney and political science professor) what I've found to be a common theme running through my congregants is that a) they or their parents grew up as part of the organized labor movement and b) they were big supporters of FDR who they saw as getting us out of the depression and helping them economically. They readily admit to me that politically that is where their mindest still is. Very rarely do issues of fear of anti-Semitism or the Christian right come up in converstations. Support of Israel is also of concern and it has swayed a number of them to vote Republican last year which they never had before.
The younger congregants don't seem to be as "liberal" on economic issues although are generally more liberal on social issues.
Just some thoughts from what I see "on the ground"
9.16.2009 10:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
soronel:

Olberman and Maddow(sp?) are getting there in terms of audience


Wake me up when we find multiple Democratic officials groveling to them (i.e., offering public apologies), and making equivalent comments to this: "the congressman believes Rush is a great leader of the conservative movement."
9.16.2009 10:08am
You are gay:
SOMIN you are seriously ugly and dumb.
9.16.2009 10:09am
Nikki (mail) (www):
I agree about the fact that American conservatism is the reason why Jews are liberal, because they want the liberal freedom to express thier religious beliefs.

-Nikki-
9.16.2009 10:15am
Just Dropping By (mail):
So being anti-bank means being anti-Jew? That's clearly the implication of the linked-to article.

There's a very long history of using the term "banker" (especially "New York banker," "international banker," etc.) or "financier" as a codeword for "Jew."
9.16.2009 10:26am
The River Temoc (mail):
I attended several events aimed at young Republicans and conservatives and was struck at how I felt like I was at a country club during these events.

I was in a bar in Old Town Alexandria about two years ago and found on my table a flier for an upcoming meeting of the Alexandria Young Republicans. The venue for the meeting was -- I kid you not -- a polo match.

The problems of the GOP in a nutshell, I'd say.
9.16.2009 10:29am
Ben P:

What? Do you even understand Evangelical Christianity? They are convinced that the Jews are the chosen people; and that Israel must be protected at all costs due to Revelations. It's a nonsense view; but you do need to get a clue.

Here's a speech: http://www.patrobertson.com/Speeches/IsraelLauder.asp

This isn't the first time you've commented on a culture you don't know much about.



The Christian fundamentalist relationship with Jews is an interesting one. (To the extent it can be summarized at all because many sects to have varying beliefs).


It is true that many fundamentalist groups strongly support Israel, because they believe the modern state of Israel to be an incarnation of the biblical state of Israel. Many, but not all, groups believe that Israeli occupation of Jerusalem all of the holy land is a fundamental precondition to the reconstruction of the temple, which is often considered a key event in end times "predictions."

So, as it concerns Israel vs Palestinian/Arab groups, many fundamentalists tend to take positions that are even more hawkish than most Israeli hawks.

But on the other hand, many (but again, not all) of those same fundamentalist groups believe that the "end times" will result in the infliction of suffering on the Jewish people as part of some divine plan to draw them back into the fold.


Other mixed odds and ends beliefs include the propheceies of Israel being involved in some massive war, Jerusalem and or Damascus being destroyed by a nuclear weapon. The Antichrist possibly or possibly not being Jewish. I really can't tell you how widespread some of these beliefs are because there's so many independent groups that have slightly different takes on this stuff. Most of what I've written here comes from my mother telling me (repeatedly) about stuff on the "prophecy in the news" shows she watches on CBN.



My only question is: Why as a Jew am I automatically assumed by many on the political Right as being a citizen of both the US and of Israel?


The possible answer to this partially ties in with what I was writing above.

My sense is that a lot of people who believe in this sort of thing view Israel as "Biblical Israel" - ie the chosen people of god, and the modern state of Israel as nothing more than the reincarnation of that group. Any person of Jewish decent is automatically part of that group by virtue of his bloodline.

So, in a sense it's almost incomprehensible to someone who holds those beliefs that someone might be Jewish and not be associated or even care about the State of Israel.
9.16.2009 10:33am
wm13:
I attended several events aimed at young Republicans and conservatives and was struck at how I felt like I was at a country club during these events.

Do you mean, a country club like the Palm Beach Country Club? Seriously, some people act like Jews all live in urban ghettoes. (Or on Park Avenue.) Lots of Jews live in fancy suburbs, play golf, and belong to country clubs. They still vote Democratic, though.

In fact, given that the Jewish population in America is richer and older than the population as a whole, I wonder if Jews might be overrepresented among country club members, though I don't have any hard data on this.
9.16.2009 10:44am
Angus:
I would say that one additional reason Jews are hostile to conservatives is also a reason blacks are hostile. Conservatives like Podhoretz (even Jewish ones) apparently believe that most Jews and blacks are stupid. Asking "how can you vote for liberals when all good, smart Jews are conservative," (which is the gist of Podhoretz's op-ed) is pretty offensive. Conservatives often make the same point about blacks, that they are stupid for supporting liberals. "You are stupid, vote for me!" is not a very persuasive appeal.
9.16.2009 10:49am
Richard Nieporent (mail):
I was in a bar in Old Town Alexandria about two years ago and found on my table a flier for an upcoming meeting of the Alexandria Young Republicans. The venue for the meeting was -- I kid you not -- a polo match.

This cartoonish view of country club republicans expressed by some is quite childish. Do you really believe that there are no rich Democrats or that they don’t belong to country clubs? If so, you are quite mistaken. Also what about those gun toting hicks from rural America mentioned earlier who are also Republicans? How do they fit in?
9.16.2009 10:50am
David M. Nieporent (www):
A good clue regarding what evengelicals think about "those don't believe in Christ at all" can be found by reading the Left Behind series, which has sold 65 million copies.
Good point. Also, a good clue regarding what Americans think about magic can be found by reading the Harry Potter series, which has sold 450 million copies (*).





(*) The worldwide figure rather than the American figure, but since the "logic" being parodied is so silly, it doesn't really matter.
9.16.2009 10:56am
Recovering Law Grad:
I think jukebox grad has it right. If we're looking for the trait that Jews share with non-Jewish liberals, I think education is probably it. People of high education do not tend to vote Republican.
9.16.2009 11:01am
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Is there any country with a significant population of Ashkenazi Jews -- the predominant Jewry of the United States -- where they would be considered "right-of-center"? Why is that people always fail to bring up a relevant control in these sort of discussions: namely, Israel? (A country where to my knowledge Protestant Evangelicals have no power.) I believe none other than our resident Israel expert David Bernstein has pointed out that there is a stereotype within the Israelis themselves that the Ashkenazim are more left-leaning than the Sephardim &the "Arabic" Jews on matters of domestic policy. Indeed, Israel has many features of a State that I perceive to be heavily influenced by left-wingers.

For example, there is the relative power of its Supreme Court, which appoints its own replacements and enjoys far wider latitude than our own in addressing controversial social policy; it seems to use its power as a court of equity quite liberally, as our domestic Left would like -- see, e.g., The Constitution In 2020. It seems that the Supreme Court are continually tempering the hand of Israel's military in combating terrorists; they are constantly finding positive burdens for the government to provide.

Then there is the case of Israel's inflation in the '70s and '80s, a consequence of its unsunstainble social democratic spending, that spiraled to upwards of 400% IIRC. This cannot be described as a case of banana republic governance, of lacking "institutions", as might be the ordinary explation -- Israel has bequeathed the world some of the finest technological expertise available as can be seen from its renowned fighter planes and the ubiquitous Uzi. The median IQ of the country is about 103, much above the region's, and the world's, average. Yet it could be explained as yet another indication that the Ashkenazi are inclined to be left-leaning.

Continuing yet further, has there ever been as pure an experiment with the egalitarian ideal as was tried in the kibbutzim?

Finally: do you think all the stereotypes of the Jews and the Bolshevists being associated emerged out of nowhere? Stereotypes are caricatures to be sure, misinformed often out of lack of understanding of statistics and causality, but they are a narrative formed out of an abstraction of the facts by their holders, and they should inform any truly discerning analysis. They tell you what to look for. Perhaps some of those stereotypes were formed out jealousy at Jewish economic success; but even earlier time in the United States, people were aware of the disproportionate economic success of Episcopalian WASPs, but I haven't seen evidence of a similar level of antipathy directed towards them. These stereotypes beg for at least some addressing.

It's understandable that our resident Jews at the VC are wary of entertaining such questions in light of many of the truly false myths that were leveled at their kin in years previous, but this particular theory of the Religious Right is distinctly unsatisfying. No one seems willing to strenuously interrogate Jewish sensibilities, which arises from the fact that, by merit, the most capable academic interrogators are themselves highly likely to be Jewish. This question won't rest in my mind until it's answered properly.
9.16.2009 11:04am
martinned (mail) (www):

People of high education do not tend to vote Republican.

Why not?

@David M. Nieporent: Unlike Harry Potter, there is significant evidence of people taking those Left Behind books seriously. (Don't ask me why. I can't even figure out why you would take a book seriously that says "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.")
9.16.2009 11:04am
neurodoc:
jukeboxgrad, in response to me, you say:

"This data isn't specifically about "Jews from the FSU, Israel and elsewhere," but it's suggestive." "Suggestive" of what?! The data you cite are not "specifically about 'Jews from the FSU, Israel and elsewhere," nor specifically about Jews from anywhere, nor specifically about immigrants. You have rebutted nothing.

"I recently listed various other examples of GOP antisemitism, here." Yes, you did. And they were indeed "various," including as examples of "GOP" antisemitism Fox TV's Sean Hannity putting forward on one show an out-and-out antisemite I had never heard of before (did Martin display his antisemitism in the course of that show?) and Prescott Bush's dealings with the Nazis. (For Democrats you cut off at 1964, grandfathering in the likes of Senator Byrd, and declining my repeat invitations to you to look at more recent Democratic "problems" like Congressman Moran, along with Reps. Cynthia McKinney, Al Hiliard, and others; while for Repubs you go back to the '40s?)

"Good thing (Constantin) you're smarter than Abe Foxman: 'the Anti-Defamation League says it has no evidence of any anti-Semitism by Mr. Wright.'" But that link is not to a primary source, rather it is to a NYT article saying that the ADL has said it has no evidence that Reverend Wright is antisemitic. How about a direct quote from Foxman or ADL giving Wright a clean bill of health, something beyond "no evidence"? I see none. Instead, I see this:
http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/5548_12.htm
Some may let Wright as just another of those "anti-Zionists," but he is more than that in the eyes of many of us. (Do you, jukeboxgrad, count Wright's friend, Farrakhan, a person Wright lavishes fulsome praise on and makes common cause with, an antisemite? Or do you believe that there are few if any antisemites out there who are not neo-Nazis or Republicans?)

jukeboxgrad, if you weren't a 24/7 partisan, you might prove more persuasive. But you might as well be an official spokesman for the Dems with the talking points (and links) that you keep returning to. (Seriously, is this more than a casual avocation for you, are you perhaps active in the Democratic Party?)


**************

There is much discussion of the religious right and their churches, but I do not see much said about the "peace" churches (Episcopalians, Presbyterians, some Lutheran synods, Menonites, etc.) who regularly belabor Israel and favor Palestinians no matter what they do. Those churches are as "liberal," even "progressive," as the ones of the religious right are "conservative." I am alternately pushed rightward by anything that looks like the former influencing the Democrats, especially on foreign policy, and leftward by anything that looks like the latter influencing the Republicans, especially on domestic/social issues, which they do a lot. On balance, the push of the former is stronger on me than that of the latter, making me less of a "liberal" (never a "progressive") than I would otherwise be.
9.16.2009 11:05am
Ben P:

I think jukebox grad has it right. If we're looking for the trait that Jews share with non-Jewish liberals, I think education is probably it. People of high education do not tend to vote Republican.



That's somewhat of an overgeneralization. To the extent polling results in an area can be reliable, people who get academic humanities degrees tend to be very liberal. Hard science degree holders seem to be slightly more balanced, lawyers and MBA's tend to be balaced-Conservative.
9.16.2009 11:06am
neurodoc:
Seamus: Are the two clauses in this sentence meant to be related? If so, then would point out that being "generally more supportive of Israel" isn't a sign of "the self-interest of American Jews" (emphasis added), unless they all have dual citizenship or are planning to retire to Israel.
Ah yes, how could we have such a thread without a contribution like this one from Seamus.
9.16.2009 11:08am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The Left Behind series uses Israel for the purpose of Christian eschatology, and the authors are not "left-wing Jewish leaders."
The Left Behind series are novels. (Also movies and graphic novels.) They are not policy statements of any religious or political organization.

Moreover, to the extent they have any significance at all, they are very anti-Catholic, but I do not see Catholics citing them as reasons why they might vote Democratic.


When someone is talking about how the U.S. is a Christian nation

Indeed. The official platform of the Texas GOP says "America is a Christian nation."
On the other hand, England actually is a Christian nation -- they have an official church and everything -- and yet Jews there don't seem to have a problem with that.
9.16.2009 11:14am
Ricardo (mail):
Do you mean, a country club like the Palm Beach Country Club? Seriously, some people act like Jews all live in urban ghettoes. (Or on Park Avenue.) Lots of Jews live in fancy suburbs, play golf, and belong to country clubs. They still vote Democratic, though.

Of course. The suburb I grew up in (about 97% white) had a sizable Jewish contingent although I think we were still majority white Christian (I would say WASP but there were lots of Catholics also). There was a country club next door that admitted Jews. Since around 1982.

For people who are taking issue with my characterization, please help explain to the guy who wrote this:

The Republican presidential candidates since 1992 have been especially unattractive to Jewish voters, and the Democratic candidates especially attractive. The elder Bush did relatively well (about 35%) among Jewish voters in 1988, basking in Reagan's reflected glory. But by 1992, Jewish voters saw him as an out-of-touch WASP patrician (the kind of guy who kept your dad out of his country club) who had top advisers who said things like "Fuck the Jews!" (that was James Baker).
9.16.2009 11:20am
Ben P:

The Left Behind series are novels. (Also movies and graphic novels.) They are not policy statements of any religious or political organization.

Moreover, to the extent they have any significance at all, they are very anti-Catholic, but I do not see Catholics citing them as reasons why they might vote Democratic.


Your comparison to Harry Potter is a little bit specious. A better one might be The DaVinci Code. In that the books are fictional representations of ideas that are actually believed by some people. (There are actual conspiracy theorists that came up with the ideas presented in that book).

But even that comparison fails, because to the best of my knowledge Dan Brown adknowledges his books were fictional. On the other hand Tim LaHaye (the auther of the Left Behind series) openly preaches the same dispensationalist beliefs he wrote about in the book, and openly considers the books to be works focused on proselytizing people.

That doesn't mean that everyone who bought a copy of the books actually believes the theology presented in them, but there is a tighter connection than you're admitting to.
9.16.2009 11:24am
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Somin:
He also denies (correctly in my view) that political liberalism advances the self-interest of American Jews, and also notes that in recent decades the right has generally been more supportive of Israel than the left.
Is it mere coincidence that these two claims are in one sentence, or are you insinuating (or suggesting that Podhoretz is claiming) that the two are related?

Cheers,
9.16.2009 11:24am
martinned (mail) (www):

On the other hand, England actually is a Christian nation -- they have an official church and everything -- and yet Jews there don't seem to have a problem with that.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the longest word in the English language: antidisestablishmentarianism. But seriously, the 26 bishops who are allowed to sit in the House of Lords stopped attending decades ago. Beyond that, the Human Rights Act seriously limits any desire anyone might have to make the Church of England literally the Church of England. In any event, I don't think even the CoE themselves are particularly bothered about any such thing; they're too busy talking nonsense about immigration.

In Britain, the scariest christians are the presbyterians, who are more common in Scotland. (And, as a result, in Northern Ireland.) The CoE is about as scary as Big Bird on X.
9.16.2009 11:27am
Andrew Myers:

I think jukebox grad has it right. If we're looking for the trait that Jews share with non-Jewish liberals, I think education is probably it. People of high education do not tend to vote Republican.


It depends on what you consider high education. At least at likely as 2006, college graduates were more likely to consider themselves Republican than Democrat: (See data from Washington Post)

At higher levels of education, I think it's mainly an acculturation phenomenon, and as another poster mentioned, it depends to some degree on which field we're talking about. Science and engineering are more balanced, though in my experience they still tilt liberal.
9.16.2009 11:30am
Ricardo (mail):
On the other hand, England actually is a Christian nation -- they have an official church and everything -- and yet Jews there don't seem to have a problem with that.

As Christopher Hitchens never gets tired of pointing out, the next Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Prince Charles, will be a man who Wikipedia describes as follows [emphasis added]:

Sir Laurens van der Post became a friend of Charles in 1977, a relationship that lasted until van der Post's death in 1996, and which led him to be dubbed the "guru to Prince Charles", and made godfather to Charles' son, Prince William. From him, the Prince of Wales developed a focus on philosophy, especially that of Asian and Middle Eastern nations, and New Age theology, praising Kabbalistic artworks, and penning a memorial for Kathleen Raine, the Neoplatonist poet, who died in 2003.

The Prince is known to attend services at several different Anglican churches near his home at Highgrove, Gloucestershire and is known to regularly worship at Crathie Kirk when staying at Balmoral Castle. ... The Prince of Wales also travels each year to Mount Athos to spend time in the Orthodox monasteries there, as well as in Romania, demonstrating his interest in Orthodox Christianity. Along with his father, who was born and raised as Greek Orthodox, Charles is patron of The Friends of Mount Athos, as well as the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies. Charles is also patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford.


He's the kind of guy Christian conservatives love to make fun of as a stereotypical multi-culti, "every religion has some truth to it," alternative-medicine-believing, mushy-headed liberal. The official church hierarchy is also famously left-of-center.
9.16.2009 11:30am
Andrew Myers:
Sorry -- to make that last post make sense, change the first "likely" to "recently".
9.16.2009 11:32am
zuch (mail) (www):
Constantin:
The "seeking to impose Christianity" theory seems plausible to me. The "Religious Right is anti-Semitic" one, not so much. Large swaths of the Left--including, of course, the President's own spiritual mentor--are explicitly anti-Semitic; there's no need for conjecture.
When you start with bad 'facts', you're likely to reach erroneous conclusions. Jes' sayin'....

Cheers,
9.16.2009 11:34am
Jonathan Rubinstein (mail) (www):
Podhoretz struck a nerve evidently, hardly a surprise as Israel is the only country on the planet whose destruction is discussed daily, like the weather, without any evident surprise or shock. Did not notice any mention of this in our President's much hyped Cairo address. Hitler announced his plans in 1923 and German Jews were still hoping he did not mean it in 1944 and some in 2004. So, how smart really are we Ashkenazis, who saw 80% of ourselves murdered with hardly a peep! Jews and the rest of the world are still living with the aftermath. It is not yet history, any more than is Hiroshima or Nagasaki. And the response to Ahmadinejad's statements, including his shameless invitation to Columbia by the little monster (he must be a lawyer) who is its president,demonstrates that nothing has really changed. Lots of people really do hate Jews. America, a Christian nation, is not immune to this but America has been the friendliest Christian nation toward Jews in our history. Saved my life which would have ended on a bayonet without a hand extended by Lady Liberty.
Podhoretz is having an old argument from the 30s when many NYC Jews were communists and comsymps. Many of the liberal-leaning Jews today, a great majority, are immune to those debates and remain supporters of the Democrats because of the New Deal. Clearly there is a shift occurring with the Russians obviously but also among the growing number of Jews who are observant and spiritual who will soon turf out the seculars from control of Jewish organizations, who have ruled for two generations.
Today, Evangelical Christians represent the strongest philosemitic block on the planet. Liberal Jews may find them distasteful but these are folks who do not seem to realize that there are still plans afoot to destroy all Jews everywhere. Podhoretz is resuming an old debate which obscures wholly the reality of the world we inhabit and sheds no light at all.
9.16.2009 11:37am
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
I'm an atheist, but when I went home last weekend to visit, I attended church services in an Assembly of God congregation out of deference to my religious parents. If the sentiments I'm reading are indicative of Jews as a whole, it's amusing how badly some of you have it wrong.

There was a foreign missionary there, back from Turkey. But to hear him talk! Did you know that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were placed where they are for the benefit of the Jews, as God's chosen people? Did you know the reason we fought the Soviets was to provide protection for the Jews, as Jesus will not return again until the world becomes as it is described in Revelation? It was a very stupid, but well-meaning and earnest, history that we received from this man that Sunday.

That's how the Evangelicals I know personally view Jews. They watch the 700 Club, hear something from the talking heads about how Israel is under attack by some interest, and then donate to the amorphous cause. Some of you make it sound like a Machiavellian calculation to bring about the end times. I think that gets the sentiment very wrong. What I get is more the feeling that they view Israel, and the Jews, as a vulnerable chick to be protected under the wing of the mother hen America. Frankly, knowing what I do about the disproportionate success of Jews, such feeling is utterly bizzarre. Indeed, I fancy that much of the Religious Right would actually be shocked and hurt that they are viewed with such antipathy by native-born Jews.
9.16.2009 11:37am
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Somin:
The question is not why secular Jews were liberal 40 or 50 years ago, but why they remained so under the very different circumstances of the last several decades.
I doubt you can get a very good answer to the second question until you know the answer to the first.

Cheers,
9.16.2009 11:40am
eyesay:
neurodoc: right, Chile. My mistake. But you're forgetting, the CIA was involved in the overthrow of Allende, and whatever the shortcomings of Allende, it was much worse under Pinochet. My point: Can you imagine Canada getting involved in such illiberal foreign entanglements?

I believe that in Nicaragua the preponderance of terror was committed by the right, not the left, but again, getting involved in this was something Ronald Reagan and his conservative fellow-travelers wanted to do so badly they broke the law (and traded with enemy Iran, which had recently held over 50 Americans hostage for over a year) to accomplish it. Again, I don't think Canadian conservatives would have support such misadventures.

You write, "If you preferred the Sandinistas, Daniel Ortega et al. to the Contras, then you were with Castro and others of his ilk, who loved the Sandistas, seeing them as another revolutionary front in the Americas." Nonsense. First, one can oppose the Contras for their methods, even if one dislikes Ortega. Second, one can believe that Daniel Ortega was a good guy without being pro-Castro.
9.16.2009 11:44am
Ex parte McCardle:
David M. Nieporent, if you really think that no one in American Evangelicalism takes the Left Behind scenario seriously, please come with me to visit my mother-in-law's church: Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia. I was recently (though unwillingly) in the congregation there and was treated to a barnburner of an End-Times-a-Comin' sermon. The preacher described Israel as "the match that will light the torch." Make no mistake: this congregation is not a bunch of snake-handling yahoos. Prince Avenue is what I've heard called here in Georgia "blue-blood Baptist." And the message is that Israel is going to be annihilated and it's going to be glorious.
9.16.2009 11:44am
JPG:
England actually is a Christian nation -- they have an official church and everything -- and yet Jews there don't seem to have a problem with that.

You've got something here but there is a difference to be made. As the GOP made tremendous efforts to reach out with the religious (essentially christian) voters - efforts that were particularly noted in the last decade - British politicians (conservatives included) appear to be much more careful not to hurt the sensibility of its minorities. While making a comparison between the two countries, you'll find British Parliament to have a much more secular approach than the American Congress.
9.16.2009 11:46am
egd:
martinned:


People of high education do not tend to vote Republican.

Why not?

People of low education also tend not to vote Republican. "Republicanism" tends to be a symptom of the middle-class.

I would posit that people of low education levels tend to vote for Democrats because Democrats tend to promise more benefits to poorer Americans, who tend to be less educated. Rational self interest.

People of higher education tend to vote for Democrats because they believe our system is an intellectual oligarchy, rather than the meritocracy of Republicans. That is, Democrats tend to believe success is due to education while Republicans tend to believe success is due to individual talent. That the truth is somewhere in the middle is unimportant.

The fact that government spending (a favorite of Democrats) contributes most research money to institutes of higher education (a high concentration of highly-educated individuals), is a secondary factor. You don't want a small-government Republican looking over your grant proposal, better to have a big-government Democrat who is more likely to see this as a valuable use of money.
9.16.2009 11:47am
jerome:
The religious right may have something to do with it, but I think the bigger issue is that the right is tainted by its historical association with Southern white supremacism. So much of Republican politics -- trashing welfare moms, opposing affirmative action, tough on crime -- are veiled but transparent ways to profit from people's fear and resentment toward African-Americans. And all the Democrats who opposed desegregation are now Republicans.

Another thing is that many Jews have parents who were Marxists or some kind of socialist, so there's a strong impulse toward economic liberalism.

I also think there's something to the argument that secular American Jews have adopted liberalism as a religion. Also, the liberal branches of Judaism have also more or less adopted liberalism as their religion, changing Judaism to conform with liberalism. A recent article in the Conservative Judaism movement's newsletter proudly argued that the Conservatives are like the living constitutionalists or the left-wing of the Supreme Court, while the Orthodox are the originalists.

Russian Jews support the Republicans, I think, because they are used to the idea of a strong, authoritarian, nationalist style of government, which of course brings you to the Republicans. In Israel the Russians also vote for nationalistic parties (though secular ones, Likud and Israel Beiteinu, not religious ones).
9.16.2009 11:48am
Ben P:

Some of you make it sound like a Machiavellian calculation to bring about the end times. I think that gets the sentiment very wrong.


Perhaps, I'd agree with you that it isn't quite Machavellian. They do legitimately and wholeheartedly think we ought to support Israel.

But by the same token, I've heard the same people who talk about Israel, talk about the rebuilding of the temple as a key event, and also mention that in the end times all the Jews will either die or finally convert to Christianity.

I admit I really don't know what to make of that particular confluence of beliefs.
9.16.2009 11:56am
Ricardo (mail):
And the response to Ahmadinejad's statements, including his shameless invitation to Columbia by the little monster (he must be a lawyer) who is its president,demonstrates that nothing has really changed.

You really should do some research before making statements like this. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger (who is Jewish, by the way), never invited Ahmadinejad to the university. The head of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs did -- Bollinger felt that vetoing the invitation would have been against the principles of freedom of speech and so did not. He made his own views on Ahmadinejad quite clear when he delivered possibly one of the rudest (but also most accurate) introductions ever afforded a visiting head of state. Bollinger was also one of the first university presidents in the U.S. to publicly condemn a campaign started in Britain to boycott Israeli professors.
9.16.2009 11:57am
Floridan:
"I think such fears [of the Religious Right seeking to make the United States an explicitly Christian nation] are overblown."

Only because the RR is unlikely to be successful, not because they aren't trying.
9.16.2009 11:58am
eyesay:
Seth M.: Sorry I wasn't clear. There is a distinction between what Israel should do right now, and what Israel should put on the table in peace negotiations.

Right now, Israel should shut down any and all settlements that were created in violation of Israeli law, and Israel should make clear to the settler movement that mainstream Israeli society and the Israeli government and army will not tolerate the construction of settlements in violation of Israeli law. Further, Israel should stop hiding the explicit and hidden subsidies to the settlements. It is not possible to review the national budget of Israel and determine the total subsidy, because as a deliberate policy, the numbers are disaggregated and hidden. The numbers should be exposed so that ordinary hard-working, taxpaying Israelis living within pre-1967 borders can see how much of their hard-earned shekels are going to pay for the settlements. And, these subsidies should stop!

Aside from this, no, Israel should not immediately shut down all settlements in the territories, but Ehud Barak and other Israeli leaders have repeatedly put on the negotiating table the offer to withdraw most of the settlements in a final peace deal.

Key problems with the settlements: (A) they make it politically, and economically, and socially harder for Israel to withdraw, if and when the Palestinians are finally ready to accept the deal and (B) they signal to the Palestinians that Israel has no intention of keeping the deal on the table, so therefore, the best bet is continuing the Intifada and having lots of babies, which is, unfortunately for Israel, a winning strategy in the long run.
9.16.2009 11:59am
sputnik (mail):
Also, you know why vast majority of Jews supported Obama ?
Because, unlike the neo-cons and the wing-nut affected Republicans,Jews,as a group, tend to gravitate toward a respect for thoughtful intelligence and fact-based reasoning.
9.16.2009 11:59am
egd:
martinned:

If I'm not mistaken, this is the longest word in the English language: antidisestablishmentarianism

In fact, you are. One could first argue that neoantidisestablishmentarianism is longer.

But in the realm of particularly floccinaucinihilipilification knowledge, you would be technically wrong, the longest word would be pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (for words appearing in the dictionary).

But for a particularly hippopotomonstrosesquipidelian example, try the technical name of tryptophan synthetase A protein (can't copy it here because of 60-character limit)
9.16.2009 12:00pm
Recovering Law Grad:
"...government spending (a favorite of Democrats)..."

I think we have ample evidence that government spending is a favorite of the party in power.
9.16.2009 12:04pm
zuch (mail) (www):
David M. Nieporent:
The Left Behind series are novels.
So is "Atlas Shrugged". ;-) <*ducks*>

Cheers,
9.16.2009 12:05pm
yankev (mail):

Many American Jews don't feel that supporting Israel in her counterproductive, and ultimately self-destructive, policies is the best way to ensure our future.
Oren, for once I agree with you. Signing Oslo and putting Arafat's gangsters in charge of innocent people; allowing tyhe Arabs to win the PR war with false information and articulate spokesmen using recycled Soviet propaganda; not holding the PLO to its Oslo promises; uprooting Jews who built homes, farms and thriving businesses on land they purchased in Gaza (in fact providing jobs and economic benefits to the local Arabs) and instead turning it over to the terrorists for use as one huge base of operations; indulging the fiction that Abu Mazen and Fatah are "moderates" or that the PLO/PA wants to live in peace with Israel; letting the US, the UN and EU dictate where Jews can and cannot live; not cracking down on illegal construction by Arabs; importing christianized "streams" of Judaism; encouraging the public to be ignorant of both Zionist history and Jewish history and culture, and to be hostile to the Jewish religion (not just chareidim but to anyone who is shomer mitzvot); allowing secular (and often anti-religious) courts to dictate to rabbis as to what the rabbis must rule on religious matters; allowing the Wakf to systematically dismantle irrreplaceable archeological findings on the Temple mount; allowing the Wakf to bar Jews from the Temple mount; allowing Hizbollah and Hamas to rearm -- have all had disastrous results.
9.16.2009 12:07pm
Constantin:
@Zuch &Jukeboxgrad:

That Foxman citation is from April of 2007. Some new information, I'd say, has been gleaned since that time. Foxman himself has voiced much less favorable views on Wright since that time.

Surely you do not contend that the good Rev. Wright and his church aren't anti-Semitic. Their conspiratorial hatred for Israel proper is available for all to see on YouTube. The stuff they published in Trumpet and their embrace of Farrakhan should settle this. But even if you'd want to attribute some "anti-Israel, not anti-Jewish" nuance to their views on this matter, Wright's recent comments blow that up. The guy, and his church, are anti-Semitic.
9.16.2009 12:08pm
Asher Steinberg (mail):
Good point, but I wonder if when you look back to the 50s or 60s (or even 70s), when the GOP was much less associated with a religious right, you wouldn't find that American Jews were pretty liberal back then too. That's certainly the impression I get talking to my relatives from that generation, that they were part of the Roosevelt coalition.
9.16.2009 12:09pm
eyesay:
Liberal Americans and most Jewish Americans both understand that America is just one country out of many, not necessarily better than other countries. (Jews understand that even if the Jews were "chosen," God created all of the world's peoples, and that they too have gifts to share. (It says in the Hagaddah that God mourned the deaths of the Egyptians.)) Conservatives elevate America above the rest of the word, trash-talk France and belittle Americans who speak French.

Liberal Americans and most Jewish Americans both understand that it is better to lead by the power of our example than by the example of our power.
9.16.2009 12:16pm
von Neumann (mail):
How about this for a theory: Children, in general, take up the political affiliation of their parents.
9.16.2009 12:20pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Constantin:
@Zuch &Jukeboxgrad:

That Foxman citation is from April of 2007. Some new information, I'd say, has been gleaned since that time. Foxman himself has voiced much less favorable views on Wright since that time.

Surely you do not contend that the good Rev. Wright and his church aren't anti-Semitic.
Aside from the question of whether Wright is anti-Semitic (which is not so cut'n'dry as you say; see comments by others), that wasn't the claim you made:
[Constantin]: "Large swaths of the Left--including, of course, the President's own spiritual mentor--are explicitly anti-Semitic; there's no need for conjecture."
I even quoted this explicitly when I questioned you in that post.

Cheers,
9.16.2009 12:23pm
yankev (mail):

I would much rather Robertson et. al. withdraw this insincere support for Israel and the Jews or, better yet, decide to respect us in our own right.
It may be perfectly sincere and yet be for his own purposes rather than for our sake.
9.16.2009 12:24pm
neurodoc:
eyesay, it may be worth noting that Allende wasn't swept into office by an ethusiastic majority of the Chilean people. He managed to slip in with a plurality of only 36%, though perhaps he would have won if Chilean law required a runoff in the absence of a majority. And while you say "whatever the shortcomings of Allende, it was much worse under Pinochet," we can't be sure what was in store with Allende, who was in office only 10 months before the coup. (I will grant that Pinochet and what he brought with him was pretty ugly, though I think not as ugly as what they got a few years later next door in Argentina.) Some Chileans earnestly believe that Allende was not a socialist, but a true Communist who was just getting started with his plans to take the country in that direction.

You say, "I believe that in Nicaragua the preponderance of terror was committed by the right, not the left..." And again, I will say it was a civil war and civil wars tend to be even nastier than those fought across international borders. Perhaps it can be shown that "the preponderance of terror was committed by the right, not the left," I don't know, but a mere preponderance shouldn't decide it, when the government in power was nothing very admirable apart from the issue of "terror," whatever meaning we give that term in this particular context.

"Second, one can believe that Daniel Ortega was a good guy without being pro-Castro." Do you, eyesay, believe Daniel Ortega was (is) "a good guy"? You believe that one could easily think highly of Hugo Chavez and not think highly of Fidel Castro, or the other way around, and that so many do think so that they couldn't all fit into a VW Beetle? Ortega and the Sandistas were not clients/allies of Cuba? (BTW, to get back on track here, most of the Jewish community in Nicaragua split when the Sandinistas took power, recognizing the similarities to 1959 Cuba. And I believe that Allende was not the choice of the majority of Chilean Jews.)
9.16.2009 12:35pm
Patrick216:
Ilya,

Your piece seems to blame Christian conservatives for Jews being liberal--the idea being that the Christian right of the Republican Party is viscerally offensive to Jews and "drives" them into becoming liberals. The notion that certain groups within the Republican party, or certain viewpoints held by Republicans, "drives" ethnic groups away from the Republican party is not new. For example, midwestern Catholic voters were overwhelmingly Democrat for decades (back in the early 1900s through probably the 1980s) because they felt that the GOP, which was dominated by Protestants, disliked them. Black voters have such visceral hatred for the GOP that they won't even listen to Republicans anymore. You are describing a similar phenomenon with Jews.

But where I think that logic breaks down is that it conflates political party affiliation with ideological beliefs. Republican/Democrat and liberal/conservative are not the same thing. Catholic Democrats in the 1980s (see above) were fairly conservative on both fiscal and social issues and formed a huge chunk of the "Blue Dog" coalition. Black voters are generally a lock-step Democratic voting bloc, yet break sharply from liberal orthodoxy on several social issues (e.g., gay marriage and school choice). But Jews are both a lock-step Democratic voting bloc and, if the article and commentary is to be believed, are for the most part reliably liberal on almost all major economic and social issues. So, something doesn't add up.
9.16.2009 12:39pm
yankev (mail):

I consider them a fairly good barometer for the Orthodox in general. Moreover, numerically speaking, anyone significantly to the right of the OU is very far (2 sigma) out of the mainstream of American Jewish opinion and not really germane to this thread.
And no true Scotsman would do such a thing. Remember the lady in Manhattan who could not believe that a given candidate won the presidential election because she did not know anyone who voted for him? So it would seem that Ari Taz and Student accurately assessed the situation.

There are many Orthodox Jews who belong to the OU but who also belong to one or more of the more traditional Orthodox organizations (I am not fond of the terms left and right when talking about Torah) such as the Agudah. For that matter, National Council of Young Israel, which began the modern Orthodox movement in the US, is to the "right" of the OU on many issues, and I would wager that there is significant overlap in their membership.

And to the "right" of OU and NCYI, there is a vast spectrum of -- can anyone think of a non-perjorative term for ultra-Orthodox? Chareidi,perhaps? -- Jews. Ner Israel and Chafetz Chaim, on the one hand, have a very different perspective on secular society than, say, Telz, with e.g. Torah V'Daas somewhere in between and e.g. Satmar and New Square to the other side. Differences between the Yeshiva world and the chassidim may be lessening, but some still remain. And the modern Orthodox world, to the dismay of some, is becoming more yeshivish. To someone who does not know, a black hatter may be a black hatter, but there are more differences than you are aware of.

That being said, I don't know many among the more traditional Orthodox who without provocation would go out of their way to insult someone who is gay. But neither would most Christians I know. Phelps and his bunch are not very representative -- not that they would want to know me or vice versa either (in the Biblical or non-Biblical sense).
9.16.2009 12:40pm
second history:
As has been said above, Christian evangelicals are interested in Jews and Israel as a stalking horse for the end times. They support Israel only to the extent to which their support will hasten Armageddon and the Second Coming. Evangelicals have very little interest in the fate of Jews and Israel after that (assuming they haven't converted).
9.16.2009 12:42pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
There is no "after that"! Glorious Kingdom of God on Earth and all that.
9.16.2009 12:47pm
yankev (mail):


Anyway, the central organizing theme of Jewish life was the Holocaust, which had occurred only a generation before. And despite the breathtaking revisionism we sometimes see on these threads, Nazism and its ideological brethren were pretty much universally associated with the right wing. So liberal politics wasn't so much an article of religious faith as a matter of self-preservation.


And our parents associated the GOP wwith the isolationists who kept the US from fightint the Nazis until after the Japanese attacked.
9.16.2009 12:50pm
yankev (mail):

Jews can have little common ground with the progressives, as their vision of a world in which all ideologies get together and hug leaves no room for a Jewish community that wishes to marry among itself, educate itself etc. Just as it allows no room for Israel to defend itself.
I agree. But what about those Jews who are intermarried, or who view desire not to intermarry as racist or bigoted, and who have no Jewish education and give none to their children, beyond vague murmurings about social justice? And if they are just like everyone else, and if they see Jewish particularism as the primary cause of any remaining anti-Semitism, and feel no kinship to other Jews, why should they care what happens to Israel?
9.16.2009 12:59pm
yankev (mail):

Start acting like Christianity is just one religion among many, as opposed to have a monopoly on defining morality? That is, start with the fundamental proposition that my religion is fine for me and your religion is fine for you. Of course, if doing so in anathema to their beliefs, then they are free to reject that line of thinking. Just don't expect people of other religions to support your position of religious superiority.
Surprise, surprise, Oren, but plenty of Republicans have been doing that for decades.
9.16.2009 1:00pm
Seamus (mail):

As has been said above, Christian evangelicals are interested in Jews and Israel as a stalking horse for the end times. They support Israel only to the extent to which their support will hasten Armageddon and the Second Coming. Evangelicals have very little interest in the fate of Jews and Israel after that (assuming they haven't converted).



Yeah, it really sucks that evangelicals will only be philosemitic until the Second Coming. That's why we must fear them now, because of all the anti-Semitic measures they're sure to enact afterwards.
9.16.2009 1:03pm
yankev (mail):

Why is it that 19th- and early-20th-century Russian Jewish immigrants and their descendants were/are to the left of center, while those who immigrated in the latter part of the 20th century (and their offspring) are on the political right?
From those I've met, I'd say most of it has to do with having had the privilege of living in a worker's paradise, where being Jewish or gentile did not matter. Only it did matter, and the paradise was more like most people's idea of hell.

For those VC bloggers who are Jewish and who go to shul and/or move in social circles with lots of Jews, what does it feel like to be a conservative?
In most Orthodox shuls, there are probably at least as many conservatives as not, and certainly more hawkish on Israel than not. When I go into a non-Orthodox shul, I feel pretty alien more because of my world view in general, religious even more than political.
9.16.2009 1:06pm
MarkField (mail):
I'd say zuch's 12:05 post wins this thread. Ties up all the various sub-issues into one fine snark.
9.16.2009 1:09pm
Patrick216:
yankev:
From those I've met, I'd say most of it has to do with having had the privilege of living in a worker's paradise, where being Jewish or gentile did not matter. Only it did matter, and the paradise was more like most people's idea of hell.

I find the same attitudes among many Cubans, Koreans, and Vietnamese I know. Those who live in Communist countries tend to have a visceral dislike for the leftist utopian scheming that passes for public policy discourse on the Left in this country.
9.16.2009 1:10pm
yankev (mail):

Good thing you're smarter than Abe Foxman: "the Anti-Defamation League says it has no evidence of any anti-Semitism by Mr. Wright.
If Foxman said that, then being smarter is not much of a trick. Also,this being Elul (and the last week of Elul), I have to assume that Foxman made his observation before Wright's post-election rantings about "the Jews" keeping him away from Obama. After some flak for the remark, Wright amended it to say he didn't mean Jews, he meant Zionists, but unless you are smarter than Martin Luther King, Jr., that's still anti-Semitic.
9.16.2009 1:16pm
yankev (mail):

But on the other hand, many (but again, not all) of those same fundamentalist groups believe that the "end times" will result in the infliction of suffering on the Jewish people as part of some divine plan to draw them back into the fold.
Then again, so did the Prophets. All of them, right down (or up) to Moshe Rabbeinu alav ha'Sholom. And the Sages -- take a look at some of the eschatology in the Talmud. Does that make them anti-Semitten too?

Of course, there is a huge difference as to which fold.
9.16.2009 1:24pm
yankev (mail):

You have rebutted nothing.
Mah nishtanah?
9.16.2009 1:27pm
Litigator-London:
I question the picture of England painted by many of the posters. Although England is a nominally Christan country with a state religion, the operative word is "nominal". The vast majority of those who identify themselves (for example on hospital admission forms) as "CofE" only ever attend church for baptisms, weddings and funerals. In fact there are more Muslims who attend their mosque regularly than there are pracising members of the Church of England.

Further, the weirder forms of Evangelical belief, are not nearly as prevalent or as influential in the UK as in the USA. Politicians do not campaign for the "Christian", or "Evangelical" vote or (save in a few constituences) for the Jewish vote.

So far as Jews in the UK are concerned, they are to be found on both sides of the political spectrum, but they are overwhelmingly "liberal" in outlook and in particular, many have been at the forefront of the struggle against Islamophobia in the UK, not least because they do not wish Muslims to experience the same Xenophobia that their fathers and grandfathers experienced.

I would add that while Anglo Jewry generally supports Israel in terms of feeling an affinity with the land, there is much less of the political "Israel right or wrong" approach one finds in the USA. I would say the majority support the a two-state solution and there is quite some support for the concept of a wholly secular rather than an explicitly Jewish state.
9.16.2009 1:37pm
yankev (mail):

Evangelical Christians represent the strongest philosemitic block on the planet. Liberal Jews may find them distasteful but these are folks who do not seem to realize that there are still plans afoot to destroy all Jews everywhere.

Here in Columbus, the local Jewish Federation invited a liberal Lutheran Bishop to address our memorial to the Jews who were murdered in Mumbai, Hk'd. He decided to lead us in a prayer written by a man who inspired one of the most anti-Semitic groups in the world, the Franciscan monks. The prayer did not mention JC by name but was clearly addressed to him. The federation leadership did not protest, nor was there hand-wringing about conversionism on the part of the liberal churches.

The RC church has reaffirmed that Jews ought to become Christians. As mentioned above, many liberal churches are whitewashing -- and even funding -- efforts at genocide on the part of the Arabs, while denouncing as genocide every act of self-defense or self-determination by Israel. These churches have much more influence than Pat Robertson and his bunch. So forgive me if I don't quake in my boots at the idea that Christians -- surprise, surprise, -- think that everyone, including me, ought to be Christian.
9.16.2009 1:37pm
zuch (mail) (www):
neurodoc:
[W]e can't be sure what was in store with Allende, who was in office only 10 months before the coup.
Oh, yes. He might have murdered and tortured hundreds of thousands ... and the Detroit Lion would have won the Super Bowl only if.....

Gotta love that "hypothetical moral relativism", yeah.

Cheers,
9.16.2009 1:47pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
r nieporent:

This cartoonish view of country club republicans expressed by some is quite childish. Do you really believe that there are no rich Democrats or that they don’t belong to country clubs?


Of course there are rich Ds who belong to country clubs. And some of them are probably responsible for making the two parties relatively indistinguishable. Who cares? The GOP is still unmatched with regard to its worship of corporate power (speaking of religion).

Also what about those gun toting hicks from rural America mentioned earlier who are also Republicans? How do they fit in?


How they fit in is simple: by voting. And by thinking whatever Rush and Glenn and Sean tell them to think. And by showing up where they're told to show up.

The GOP took power by forming a coalition between the country-club Republicans and the yokels. Trouble is, the yokels are now in charge.

GWB is personally a perfect symbol of that coalition. His roots are as country-club as you can possibly get, but the yokels don't notice because he bought a ranch and affected a new accent. (Bush adopted a "cowboy persona" and accent that was "not always there in public appearances when he was younger.") It's a story of phoniness, which is a key theme for the GOP (like the phoniness of promoting 'family values' while you're cheating on your mistress).

===================
d nieporent:

a good clue regarding what Americans think about magic can be found by reading the Harry Potter series, which has sold 450 million copies


Indeed. You can learn important things about a group by noticing the culture it consumes. Rowling's success indicates that Americans (and lots of other people) are interested in fantasy, magic and spirituality. Especially kids. At the same time that certain groups find those themes threatening.

Likewise, evangelicals are interested in the Rapture, and that's why so many Left Behind books have been sold. People who are doomed in that story are foolish to ignore this. That's why it's not hard to find Jews who are paying attention.

You seem to not be interested in defending your peculiar claim ("the only people who talk about the latter [using Israel for the purpose of Christian eschatology] are left-wing Jewish leaders").

The Left Behind series are novels. (Also movies and graphic novels.) They are not policy statements of any religious or political organization.


Who called them "policy statements?" You're attempting a goalpost relocation. Even though they're not "policy statements," they do indeed use Israel for the purposes of Christian eschatology. Why did you claim otherwise?

to the extent they have any significance at all, they are very anti-Catholic, but I do not see Catholics citing them as reasons why they might vote Democratic.


McCain lost every religious group (including "none"), except for Protestants. If you think that evangelical hostility to Catholics has no influence on Catholics voting D, then I think you need to get out more. Here you can find an example of a Catholic writer specifically condemning Huckabee for campaigning with LaHaye.

On the other hand, England actually is a Christian nation -- they have an official church and everything -- and yet Jews there don't seem to have a problem with that.


For some strange reason a lot of Jews leaving Europe roughly a century ago headed here instead of to England. This may have had something to do with a desire to live in a place that didn't have "an official church and everything." So maybe it's true that Jews in the UK would have no problem with the Texas GOP declaring that "America is a Christian nation," but those Jews are not voting in American elections. American Jews are voting in American elections.

And several people have explained how benign the CoE is. Not exactly the same crowd as American evangelicals.

===================
neuro:

The data you cite are not "specifically about 'Jews from the FSU, Israel and elsewhere," nor specifically about Jews from anywhere


I think you're not reading very carefully. I cited exit polling regarding how Jews voted. That data is indeed "specifically about Jews."

"Suggestive" of what?!


I cited data showing that people who are Jewish, young and educated tend to vote D. This suggests that young Jewish immigrants are likely to do the same thing (notwithstanding certain alleged exceptions, like ex-Russians).

declining my repeat invitations to you to look at more recent Democratic "problems"


In that thread I did "look at" what you're claiming I didn't look at.

How about a direct quote from Foxman


Here:

nothing I’ve seen would make me call him [Wright] an anti-Semite


Foxman has other criticisms, but not that one.

Instead, I see this:
http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/5548_12.htm


That's from 6/09. Foxman's earlier statements were based on Wright's earlier statements. And the day after the press release you cited, Wright apologized. Let us know if you have some reason to believe that ADL didn't accept the apology.

Some may let Wright as just another of those "anti-Zionists"


As of 2008, that "some" included Foxman.

Do you, jukeboxgrad, count Wright's friend, Farrakhan, a person Wright lavishes fulsome praise on and makes common cause with, an antisemite?


Yes, Farrakhan is an antisemite, but not everyone who praises an antisemite is an antisemite. If everyone who praises an antisemite is also an antisemite, then what about someone who praises someone who praises someone who is an antisemite?

And since you think it's a good idea to "look at" things, I notice you're still "declining my repeat invitations" for you to "look at" McCain and Hagee. Is Hagee an antisemite? Is McCain also an antisemite, since he praised Hagee?

are you perhaps active in the Democratic Party?


I'm "active" only in the sense that you can see. And speaking of not reading carefully, you seem to not notice that I am often harshly critical of Democrats. Also, FWIW, I started voting in 1974 and never registered as a Democrat until thirty years later.

===================
constantin:

That Foxman citation is from April of 2007. Some new information, I'd say, has been gleaned since that time. Foxman himself has voiced much less favorable views on Wright since that time.


I cited Foxman from 4/07 and from 1/08. Please show us where "Foxman himself has voiced much less favorable views on Wright since that time." And by "much less favorable reviews," I mean Foxman describing Wright as an antisemite. You must have such a quote, right?

Surely you do not contend that the good Rev. Wright and his church aren't anti-Semitic.


Surely you do not contend that your expertise on this subject is greater than Foxman's.

Wright's recent comments blow that up


He apologized. I accept the apology. Let us know if you can demonstrate that Foxman didn't.

===================
ben:

People of high education do not tend to vote Republican.


That's somewhat of an overgeneralization.


Earlier I cited the exit poll indicating that Obama had a 18% margin among people with graduate degrees.

Hard science degree holders seem to be slightly more balanced, lawyers and MBA's tend to be balaced-Conservative.


Do you have any data to support your claim?

===================
myers:

At least at likely as 2006, college graduates were more likely to consider themselves Republican than Democrat


Thanks for that interesting table, I hadn't seen that.

"More likely" but only by a small margin. In most of the years listed, the difference was 3% or less.

It's a bimodal distribution. People with low education and high education vote D. People in the middle vote R.

===================
rubinstein:

America has been the friendliest Christian nation toward Jews in our history.


Yes, Jews (and lots of other people) are rightly grateful for America. But it's worth realizing that in certain times and places, Muslim nations have also been friendly places for Jews. Things change.

there are still plans afoot to destroy all Jews everywhere


I'm not happy about the plans to destroy Jews. I'm also not happy about millions of people reading books that glorify the destruction of the Jews.

Today, Evangelical Christians represent the strongest philosemitic block on the planet.


I think you have an odd idea of what it means to be "philosemitic." Some Jews have a different idea.

===================
jerome:

So much of Republican politics -- trashing welfare moms, opposing affirmative action, tough on crime -- are veiled but transparent ways to profit from people's fear and resentment toward African-Americans.


Exactly. And the anti-ACORN hysteria falls into that same framework.

Russian Jews support the Republicans, I think, because they are used to the idea of a strong, authoritarian, nationalist style of government


I agree. John Dean has written thoughtfully on the subject of the GOP as the party of authoritarianism.

===================
yankev:

And our parents associated the GOP wwith the isolationists who kept the US from fightint the Nazis until after the Japanese attacked.


That may have had something to do with Prescott Bush.

If Foxman said that, then being smarter is not much of a trick.


Foxman is a Holocaust survivor who has been working for ADL since 1965, and who has won international awards for that work, and who has met with the Pope (multiple times), seven presidents, and at least nine other heads of state.

But I'm so glad to know that you're smarter than him. The only mystery is why those dumb Jews are letting Foxman run ADL, instead of hiring you to do the job.

take a look at some of the eschatology in the Talmud


There are some important differences between "the eschatology in the Talmud" and the eschatology in the Left Behind series. I'm not sure if you realize this.

Also, I think most American Jews (and Israeli Jews, for that matter) are quite uninterested in living under fundamentalists, even if the fundamentalists were to happen to be other Jews.

So forgive me if I don't quake in my boots at the idea that Christians -- surprise, surprise, -- think that everyone, including me, ought to be Christian.


I think it's a question of how much fervor and intensity is attached to the "ought to be." For example, I might think that everyone "ought to" eat well and get enough exercise, but I'm not aware of an episode in history where people who shared my belief went on Crusades to kill a bunch of people who didn't share my belief. On the other hand, using (allegedly) Christian beliefs as an excuse to kill people is part of current events.

===================
seamus:

Yeah, it really sucks that evangelicals will only be philosemitic until the Second Coming. That's why we must fear them now, because of all the anti-Semitic measures they're sure to enact afterwards.


If I know why someone is being nice to me, it might effect the way I feel about the fact that they are being nice to me.
9.16.2009 2:01pm
neurodoc:
neurodoc: You have rebutted nothing.
yankev: Mah nishtanah?
Which son are you? Since I fancy myself the wise one, and I know you are not the youngest among us, it can only be one of two. How do you plead?

(BTW, as you know, your question has been asked and answered innumerble times, and it is unseasonal, except perhaps as it pertains to this particular interlocutor, who I expect will a link to offer by way of reply to the both of us.)

[Do you know your fellow Buckeye, who also resides in Columbus, that is Hugh59 @ 8:44 AM?]
9.16.2009 2:01pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
As a liberal Jew, I find much of this thread interesting. But as a Lions fan, I note with despair the common use on the internets of my team in analogies and metaphors about hopelessness and failure.
9.16.2009 2:02pm
yankev (mail):

Because, unlike the neo-cons and the wing-nut affected Republicans,Jews,as a group, tend to gravitate toward a respect for thoughtful intelligence and fact-based reasoning.
I love parody.
9.16.2009 2:02pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Ricardo:

"That Jews vote against their (perceived, by the author) class interest isn't anything novel. Upper class blacks are strongly pro-Democrat and were much more enthusiastic about Obama's candidacy in the initial stages than lower-income, less-educated blacks were."


That's all true. But the supposedly the Jews vote against their interest more than other groups after making the necessary adjustments. I don't know if it's really true, but at least superficially it seems to be.
9.16.2009 2:07pm
anotherpsychdoc (mail):
I went to a 'high school day' for private schools when one of my children was going to be applying. Several of the schools were Jewish. I thought such might be a good school. I asked if they took any non Jewish students. "No."

I suppose the message in this was that Jews could attend non Jewish schools; thus this school had shown up at the function, but it didn't work the other way around. I think similarly being Democrat excludes from some social contact non Jews who otherwise might have similar characteristics. It also afflicts the middle class goyem who might otherwise be more comfortable. After all, "we," the Jews, have not been comfortable. Is it just that they should be? This is not to deny other cited reasons. I hope this is not too unfriendly a comment.
9.16.2009 2:10pm
yankev (mail):

Also, I think most American Jews (and Israeli Jews, for that matter) are quite uninterested in living under fundamentalists, even if the fundamentalists were to happen to be other Jews.
When someone refers to Orthodox Jews as fundamentalists, he is saying three things:

1. I don't understand what fundamentalism is.
2. I don't care very much for fundamentalist Christians.
3. I don't care very much for Orthodox Judaism either.

And while Foxman may have been tapped to lead the liberal organization ADL, he has not been annointed as the sole judge of what is and is not anti-Semitic and who is or is not an anti-Semitic threat to the Jewish people. As a fallible human being, he has been wrong before, both by overinclusion and by underinclusion.
9.16.2009 2:12pm
yankev (mail):

For example, I might think that everyone "ought to" eat well and get enough exercise, but I'm not aware of an episode in history where people who shared my belief went on Crusades to kill a bunch of people who didn't share my belief.
As I recall, those were not evangelical Christians.

On the other hand, using (allegedly) Christian beliefs as an excuse to kill people is part of current events.

Although to a much lesser degree than Muslim beliefs and socialist beliefs. For that matter, people used allegedly pro-union and pro-Obama health care beliefs as a an excuse to beat someone so badly that he has to use a wheel chair, and possibly to beat him to death if they had not been stopped. And pro-gay beliefs have been used as an excuse to beat people and disrupt church services. Again, the question is to what extent and how representative?

Why do I bother? I am done replying to you. There are limits to even my masochism.
9.16.2009 2:16pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
jukeboxgrad:

The Jews were voting for Democrats, socialists and communists long before the religious right made inroads into the GOP. The penetration has given them another excuse, but they don't need it. Many Jews are simply hostile to capitalism. Amazingly even some Jewish capitalists. Some of my friends fathers were factory owners who would go home after a day of exploiting their workers and read Marx and Lenin after dinner for relaxation. They would vote for candidates who promised to raise their taxes, and then find the best tax lawyers they could to avoid taxes.

Do you actually know very many Jews personally?
9.16.2009 2:16pm
yankev (mail):

Which son are you?
Well, the pasuk says "Yankev ish tam . . ."
9.16.2009 2:16pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
McCain lost every religious group (including "none"), except for Protestants. If you think that evangelical hostility to Catholics has no influence on Catholics voting D, then I think you need to get out more. Here you can find an example of a Catholic writer specifically condemning Huckabee for campaigning with LaHaye.
Funny how your evidence of Republican anti-semitism managed to go back 70 years to find an alleged example, but your analysis here can't manage to back more than 10 months.


Yes, Farrakhan is an antisemite, but not everyone who praises an antisemite is an antisemite.
And, yet, surprisingly, most of your examples of alleged Republican anti-semitism were based on precisely that sort of guilt-by-association.
9.16.2009 2:17pm
neurodoc:
jukeboxgrad: He apologized. I accept the apology.
You are free to accept that apology on behalf of yourself, just as it seems you have accepted Moran's withdrawal and later apology for a patently antisemitic remark, but not on behalf of me and us collectively. Nor, for that matter is Abe Foxman*, if indeed he has given Rev. Wright and Rep. Moran the absolution you imply that he has. Also, I'm not willing to parse the much exaggerated antisemitic vs anti-Zionist distinction with the likes of Wright and Moran, neither of whom are animated by hatred of Jews qua Jews. It is sufficient for me that they link with those they do and champion an anti-Israel, if not frankly antisemitic, agenda.

*Is this one not among the links you have at the ready, or is it that you prefer to ignore it for these purposes?
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/magazine/14foxman.t.html

I'll try to find the time to go back and look at that prior thread to see how, if at all, you dealt with Byrd, Moran, McKinney, Al Hilliard, George Crocker, Revs Jackson and Sharpton (unsuccessful Dem office seekers rather than holders, but very much players within the Democratic Party), as well as others over on the "Left" side of the political spectrum.

And if you have been voting a straight Democratic ticket for >30 years, then you are far more consistent partisan than am I, since I have switched many times, depending on the choices offered me.
9.16.2009 2:25pm
Seamus (mail):

The GOP took power by forming a coalition between the country-club Republicans and the yokels. Trouble is, the yokels are now in charge.

GWB is personally a perfect symbol of that coalition. His roots are as country-club as you can possibly get, but the yokels don't notice because he bought a ranch and affected a new accent. (Bush adopted a "cowboy persona" and accent that was "not always there in public appearances when he was younger.") It's a story of phoniness, which is a key theme for the GOP (like the phoniness of promoting 'family values' while you're cheating on your mistress).



That seems more like an example of a county-club Republican hoodwinking the yokels by pretending to be one of them than proof that "the yokels are now in charge."
9.16.2009 2:27pm
Connecticut Lawyer (mail):
I don't know the answer to the question this post raises. But from my (Reform Jewish) family, I'll note that the older generation (born in the 1920s and 1930s) are all hard-core Democrats. My mother grew up Jewish in NYC in the 1930s and has memories of Father Coughlin et al. and to this day associates Republicans with anti-Semitism. However, her three children are all conservative Republicans, radicalized by Jimmy Carter, 9/11 and now Barack Obama. I began my journey away from the left when I was told by the campus radicals in 1969 that all good leftists supported the oppressed Palestinians in their struggle against the evil colonialist Israelis. It astounds me to this day how many American Jews to this day don't get it (including my mother).

Then there's the Union of Reform Judiasm, which functions essentially as the religious arm of the DNC. Did you know that Jewish religious law requires Jews to oppose the confirmation of conservative nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court? I have to stop writing about the URJ now because my blood pressure is starting to rise.
9.16.2009 2:28pm
neurodoc:
anotherpsychdoc: I went to a 'high school day' for private schools when one of my children was going to be applying. Several of the schools were Jewish. I thought such might be a good school. I asked if they took any non Jewish students. "No."

I suppose the message in this was that Jews could attend non Jewish schools; thus this school had shown up at the function, but it didn't work the other way around. I think similarly being Democrat excludes from some social contact non Jews who otherwise might have similar characteristics. It also afflicts the middle class goyem who might otherwise be more comfortable. After all, "we," the Jews, have not been comfortable. Is it just that they should be? This is not to deny other cited reasons. I hope this is not too unfriendly a comment.
Perhaps not "unfriendly," but certainly non-comprehending. If representatives of a Christian Academy school were at the school fair, what would you expect them to say to a Jewish or Muslim parent who asked if they took non-Christians students and would not subject them to any prosleytizing?
9.16.2009 2:32pm
Seamus (mail):

Ah yes, how could we have such a thread without a contribution like this one from Seamus.


You wanna explain to me what the hell that's supposed to mean? Are you taking issue with my point, which was that looking out for the interests of people who share your ethnicity isn't an example of self-interest, but rather of a kind of altruism? (The same point could be made about Cuban-Americans who support continuation of the embargo: Assuming that they are in good faith when they claim their motivation is a wish to restore democracy to Cuba, their position isn't one driven by self-interest, unless they're planning to go back to a democratic, post-Raul Cuba. There are a handful who may have ideas of doing just that, but I suspect they form a small minority of Cuban-Americans.)
9.16.2009 2:35pm
neurodoc:
Connecticut Lawyer: Then there's the Union of Reform Judiasm, which functions essentially as the religious arm of the DNC. Did you know that Jewish religious law requires Jews to oppose the confirmation of conservative nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court? I have to stop writing about the URJ now because my blood pressure is starting to rise.
Too bad, isn't it, that Bush didn't nominate Alex Kozinski to the Court. What would Rabbi Saperstein of the Religious Action Center have said?
9.16.2009 2:36pm
ArthurKirkland:
I sense that Norman Podhoretz is confused about and by many things. Neither his confusion regarding Jewish voting patterns in the United States, nor his desire to see a change, strikes me as particularly interesting.

That this particular lament -- 'why don't Jews understand that they should vote for Republicans,' which resembles 'how could anyone who completed the third grade have voted for Bush in 2004?' or 'why would anyone with a job vote for a Democrat?' -- generates such voluminous and heated debate is baffling.
9.16.2009 2:36pm
Seamus (mail):

If I know why someone is being nice to me, it might effect the way I feel about the fact that they are being nice to me.



And I guess it keeps you from voting for the political party that they support, even though they will only stop being nice to you after an event occurs that you believe isn't going to happen.
9.16.2009 2:40pm
scattergood:
Most Jews in the USA are either of the Reform or Conservative movement. Both movements explicitly place the formation of their theology in the hands of their members and leaders. As such, is it any wonder that members that grow up in this theological view have a man or leader focused view of the world at large.

The issue isn't right vs. left, it is secular vs. religious. Sure there are some left leaning Christian clergy, but they are clearly the exception, and in their own words they say that they need to 'adjust' or 'reform' their own religious practices, thus falling into the human centered view of the world.

Again, a huge dividing line intellectually for Jews being liberal vs. conservative is whether they believe in a G-d given, transcendent, immutable Torah. If you do, then you will tend to be conservative as you can see a right and a wrong that exists outside of human perception (a very 'conservative view'.) If you do not, then you will tend to be liberal as you will lean to the side that morality, right and wrong, etc. are man made constructs which is much more in line with the moral relativism of the liberal world view.

Again, these are general statements, I am sure exceptions can be found, but on average I'd stand by these statements.
9.16.2009 2:52pm
neurodoc:
Seamus: ...my point, which was that looking out for the interests of people who share your ethnicity isn't an example of self-interest, but rather of a kind of altruism? (The same point could be made about Cuban-Americans who support continuation of the embargo...)
If "looking out for the interests of people who share your ethnicity isn't an example of self-interest," then what is this thing called "identity politics" all about? Or is it only not "an example of self-interest" when Jews are concerned?

We won't go into the Jewish concept of Klal Yisroel here, except to say that it means the very opposite of your "not self-interest, but rather a kind of altruism" argument. And though I have had a fair amount of experience with Cuban-Americans from my time in Miami, I am not aware of reason for them to be fear serious discrimination anywhere on account of their Cuban origins. That is very different from Jewish-Americans, who have good reason to be concerned on their own behalves and excellent ones to be concerned on behalf of Jews elsewhere, including in Israel.
9.16.2009 2:52pm
neurodoc:
ArthurKirkland: That this particular lament...generates such voluminous and heated debate is baffling.
Not at all surprising that you should find it so. (You are the person who envisions uprooting all Israelis and resettling them in the American Southwest so as to placate and accommodate the Palestinians and other Arabs, aren't you?)
9.16.2009 2:57pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Andrew Myers:

The Chronicle of Higher Ed released its newest data this summer. Currently, undergraduates are considerably more likely to identify as 'liberal' and with the Democratic Party. There is even a notable percentage that self-idenitfy as 'leftist.' I doubt many of them will change their views by graduation.

Further, while I do not know where to look for a citation or link, I had data as recently as Spring 07 that showed longitudinal tracking of several factors and political leanings. The results indicated that, as educational level progresses, people are more likely to identify as 'liberal.'
9.16.2009 3:00pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I don't know the answer to the question this post raises. But from my (Reform Jewish) family, I'll note that the older generation (born in the 1920s and 1930s) are all hard-core Democrats. My mother grew up Jewish in NYC in the 1930s and has memories of Father Coughlin et al. and to this day associates Republicans with anti-Semitism.
Which is odd, because Coughlin was a Democrat.
9.16.2009 3:00pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Joseph Slater:

But as a Lions fan, I note with despair the common use on the internets of my team in analogies and metaphors about hopelessness and failure.

You have a problem with reality testing?
9.16.2009 3:18pm
InsertGenericID:
David M. Nieporent


Which is odd, because Coughlin was a Democrat.


Coughlin started as a supporter of the New Deal and endorser of Roosevelt, before becoming a founder of the Union Party, a very strong isolationist and vocal opponent of the New Deal generally and Roosevelt in particular. To the extant that the latter qualities are associated with Republicans, it is not so odd.
9.16.2009 3:22pm
yankee (mail):
People of low education also tend not to vote Republican. "Republicanism" tends to be a symptom of the middle-class.

You're right that Republicanism is a symptom of college education. When you analyze people by highest education level completed, college graduates trend Republican, while high school graduates, high school dropouts, and graduate degree holders all trend Democratic. (I'm not sure about 2-year degree holders and college dropouts.)

But Republicanism is not a symptom of the "middle class," because education and income are not the same thing. In fact, the richer you are, the more likely you are to vote Republican (and the reverse is true for Democrats).
9.16.2009 3:25pm
yankev (mail):

Neither his confusion regarding Jewish voting patterns in the United States, nor his desire to see a change, strikes me as particularly interesting.
You waded this far into a thread that does not interest you?
9.16.2009 3:26pm
Careless:

My only question is: Why as a Jew am I automatically assumed by many on the political Right as being a citizen of both the US and of Israel?

Why am I supposed to be automatically in favor of anything that the Israeli government does? Are American Catholics always polled as to their views on Vatican political policies?

For many years Catholics were looked at as having dual loyalties. Go far enough back and they're seen as being singularly loyal to the Pope. [filthy papists!] The fact that American Catholics have become functionally Protestant has slowly dulled this into virtual non-existence.

But is it really a thing of the Right and not just a thing of many on all sides except the anti-Israel far Left?
9.16.2009 3:29pm
anotherpsychdoc (mail):
Neurodoc, '
would you expect them to say to a Jewish or Muslim parent who asked if they took non-Christians students and would not subject them to any prosleytizing?
'

He ended up going to a Jesuit school; so he hears about 'the man for others' Jesuit theology. Am I uncomprehending that I didn't expect he would hear something about Jewish if he went to a Jewish school?
9.16.2009 3:30pm
zuch (mail) (www):
David M. Nieporent (www):
Which is odd, because Coughlin was a Democrat.
Or so he claimed. Earlier in his career. So is Lyndon LaRouche, I'd note. On the other side of the aisle, wasn't John Wayne Gacy a Republican? Ted Bundy was, I know.

Cheers,
9.16.2009 3:31pm
MarkField (mail):

As I recall, those were not evangelical Christians.


That's not a meaningful distinction in 1099.
9.16.2009 3:32pm
Hugh59:
Neurodoc:

I never met Marshall Whittman, though I heard a lot about him. I don’t think I know yankev; I seem to be socializing with young liberals these days. Don't worry, I won't convert and become one.

As for Jay Sekulow, I saw a lot of him. He seemed very good at getting a lot done with the resources he had (and he was very, very good at raising money). He originally opened DC area office in Alexandria, but I believe the ACLJ rents office space right behind the US Supreme Court. Jay was one of the moving parties on my application to the Bar of the US Supreme Court; I was sworn in on the day that the GOOD NEWS CLUB case was argued.

Jay never tried to convert me. I never got much pressure to convert from anyone at the CCA. Every so often someone would ask, and I would say, “I have a job to do.” I would get a nod and that would end the discussion.

I remember once talking with a staff member for a congressman Rick Lazio back when he was campaigning against Hillary Clinton for the US Senate. When I told him where I worked, he said, “How can you work for the Christian Coalition? They spend $3.5 million a year to convert Jews to Christianity.” I told him that was not possible. I was helping out in the finance office; I knew exactly how much money was being raised and how it was all being spent. I told him that the correct number was probably about $30 per month. When he asked how I came to that number, I said, “Well, my boss asks me about converting about once a month while we are out at dinner and she picks up the tab.”

I see a lot of comments about the ugliness of the political right or the religious right. But there is also a lot of ugliness on the political left. When I discuss issues with liberals (including Jews), I do my best to avoid using confrontational terms so that we can talk about the issues. I can often get them to agree that there may not be a realistic government solution for a given problem and then they say, “But, we have to do something.” It almost seems like magical thinking.

A country club at which Jews are welcome? Here in Columbus, there is (well, was) the Winding Hollow Country Club. Originally it was for Jews only…but later they allowed goyem to join (after they ran up a huge amount of debt moving to a new location and needed additional dues). I guess it finally went out of business. Oy vey.

I agree with Cato the Elder: the religious right views, “Israel, and the Jews, as a vulnerable chick to be protected….” Yes, the evangelical Christians believe that the Jews will suffer during the “end days” conflict….that suffering will be at the hands of the anti-christ and his supporters. IIRC, after all the good Christians are all summoned to heaven, the Jews will be the only people supporting God left on Earth. The religious right wants the Jews to be as powerful as possible so that Jewish suffering during the end times will be reduced.

As for the Jews converting to Christianity at the very end, I think it could also be interpreted that the return of Jesus will be seen as the coming of the messiah. Okay, as a secular Jew who was raised Reformed, I have absolutely no idea what the coming of the messiah would mean. But it won’t necessarily be converting to become a Pentacostal.

Recovering Law Grad: “People of high education do not tend to vote Republican.” Higher education is not what it used to be. Read some Jane Jacobs; higher education is now more about credentialing than about learning. So, if you want that credential, you’d better keep your professors happy. If you want to get that funding, you’d better keep the university administration and the grant authority happy.

Sputnik, you are rude and insulting.

Reading all this anger about the religious right makes me sad. It is okay to hate as long as you hate the appropriate people. There are valid criticisms of the religious right that can be made…but I am not reading any of them here.

I see that yankev is posting here too. Hi yankev! I hope I get to meet you in person sometime. Hello life, goodbye Columbus.
9.16.2009 3:33pm
yankev (mail):

And I guess it keeps you from voting for the political party that they support, even though they will only stop being nice to you after an event occurs that you believe isn't going to happen.
So I'm not the only one who sees an inconsistency there? It's not even like saying "When the Lions win," it's like saying when some team that never existed or long ago dissolved wins.
9.16.2009 3:33pm
Seamus (mail):

If "looking out for the interests of people who share your ethnicity isn't an example of self-interest," then what is this thing called "identity politics" all about? Or is it only not "an example of self-interest" when Jews are concerned?



I would think my discussion of Cuban Americans would have made it clear that I don't believe that do be the case.


We won't go into the Jewish concept of Klal Yisroel here, except to say that it means the very opposite of your "not self-interest, but rather a kind of altruism" argument. And though I have had a fair amount of experience with Cuban-Americans from my time in Miami, I am not aware of reason for them to be fear serious discrimination anywhere on account of their Cuban origins. That is very different from Jewish-Americans, who have good reason to be concerned on their own behalves and excellent ones to be concerned on behalf of Jews elsewhere, including in Israel.



I have no idea what your point is. Are you trying to say that, because American Jews support Israel as a place to which they might flee from the pogroms that might break out in the United States, that support really *is* self-interested?
9.16.2009 3:36pm
Aultimer:

Cato The Elder There was a foreign missionary there, back from Turkey. But to hear him talk! Did you know that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were placed where they are for the benefit of the Jews, as God's chosen people? Did you know the reason we fought the Soviets was to provide protection for the Jews, as Jesus will not return again until the world becomes as it is described in Revelation? It was a very stupid, but well-meaning and earnest, history that we received from this man that Sunday.

That's how the Evangelicals I know personally view Jews.

Then it's not the Evangelicals you know that cause concern, it's the Evangelicals and other who seek power by controlling the Evangelicals you know largely through pretext and spin.

Most Christians are good people. Heck, most people are good people, not that you'd know it from reading blog comments.
9.16.2009 3:36pm
yankev (mail):

That's not a meaningful distinction in 1099.
It's a useful distinction given that Evangelical Christians AFAIK do not seem themselves as the heirs of the Roman Catholic church.
9.16.2009 3:36pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
Leo Marvin: Re the Lions, I'm not disputing the reality of it, I'm despairing of it.

Et tu, yankev?
9.16.2009 3:38pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
And I guess it keeps you from voting for the political party that they support, even though they will only stop being nice to you after an event occurs that you believe isn't going to happen.

So I'm not the only one who sees an inconsistency there? It's not even like saying "When the Lions win," it's like saying when some team that never existed or long ago dissolved wins.


On a serious note, although I don't think this is the #1 issue for Jewish liberals, it seems to me entirely rationale to be wary of alliances with folks who are being "nice" to me for entirely irrational, bizarre reasons and who see me ultimately coming to a very bad end. Even if I don't believe that this particular bad end will happen to me, and even if they are being nice to me for now, why do I want to ally with a bunch of kooks? Because they are slightly more hawkish re Israel than some parts of the Dem coaltion?

And that's ignoring all the positions the domestic issues on which the religious right puts a lot of time and energy to promote what I think are bad policies, i.e., not being "nice" to me.
9.16.2009 3:46pm
Just the Facts:
You folks should examine the 1996 Religious Right Survey, sponsored by the AJC and Gallup. It turns out that the Christian Right does not harbor more anti-Semitism than Americans in general. I suspect that the Christian Right is probably even more tolerant today than back then. Pew's surveys after the Passion of the Christ, on the other hand, found that theological anti-Semitism (more specifically, blaming Jews for the death of Jesus) was most densely concentrated in, of all demographics, the black community.

Studies such as Tobin &Groenman 2005, Dunbar 1995, Malhotra and Margalit 2009, and the ADL's periodic surveys about anti-Semitism find that minorities are considerably more anti-Semitic than whites and Democrats more anti-Semitic than Republicans.

Uslaner and Lichbach, meanwhile, find that levels of hostility towards the Evangelical Christians was the most powerful predictor of Jewish voting habits in the 2004 election.

Putting it all together, it seems that American Jews tend to have false beliefs as to the demographic distribution of anti-Semitism, and these false views in turn predict voting habits.

I suspect that the rightish views of Jewish immigrants are caused by two factors

1) Many are Russians and Persians. They likely come to this country with elevated levels of distrust of government and intense personal dislike of Communists and/or Islamists. This promotes more conservative viewpoints.

2) They are not subject to socialization into Democratic Party identity, which includes the passing on of these false beliefs about anti-Semitism.
9.16.2009 3:50pm
yankev (mail):

Here in Columbus, there is (well, was) the Winding Hollow Country Club. Originally it was for Jews only…
Yes and no. As I was told when I first moved here in the early 1980s, the bylaws did not say you had to be Jewish. They said you had to belong to a synagogue. Refore Temples at that time allowed non-Jewish spouses of Jews to be members. And the Reform movement uses a broader definition of Jew than Conservative Rabbbis do, and they in turn use a broader definition than Orthodox Rabbis do.

So -- even before the bylaws changed, you could have a member that was considered Jewish by Reform only, by Reform and Conservative only, by everyone or by no one.
9.16.2009 3:52pm
Oren:

But by the same token, I've heard the same people who talk about Israel, talk about the rebuilding of the temple as a key event ...

That is a truly terrifying proposition.



I would much rather Robertson et. al. withdraw this insincere support for Israel and the Jews or, better yet, decide to respect us in our own right.

It may be perfectly sincere and yet be for his own purposes rather than for our sake.

Supporting someone for the sake of their role in your Revelation is not sincere. It is, in fact, quite the opposite of sincere -- demonstrating a total contempt for those you support except means to your end.


And to the "right" of OU and NCYI, there is a vast spectrum of [Haredim] ... To someone who does not know, a black hatter may be a black hatter, but there are more differences than you are aware of.

My point is not that they don't exist, it's that they have relatively little impact on mainstream American Jewish opinion of the type probed in this post, both due to their small numbers and relative isolation.


That being said, I don't know many among the more traditional Orthodox who without provocation would go out of their way to insult someone who is gay. But neither would most Christians I know. Phelps and his bunch are not very representative -- not that they would want to know me or vice versa either (in the Biblical or non-Biblical sense).

It's not a question of insult without provocation, it's the point of view of demonizing the homosexual versus seeing them as wayward.
9.16.2009 3:56pm
The River Temoc (mail):
Do you really believe that there are no rich Democrats or that they don’t belong to country clubs?

Of course there Democrats who belong to country clubs. That's not the point. The point is that (rightly or wrongly) Republicans are perceived as catering to the country club set, and Democrats are not. Holding a Young Republicans rally at a polo club reinforces a politically damaging stereotype.
9.16.2009 3:59pm
yankev (mail):

it's the point of view of demonizing the homosexual versus seeing them as wayward.
Got it. Then most of the black hattters I know are in the non-demonizing quadrant AFAIK.
9.16.2009 4:03pm
neurodoc:
Seamus: I have no idea what your point is. Are you trying to say that, because American Jews support Israel as a place to which they might flee from the pogroms that might break out in the United States, that support really *is* self-interested?
Clearly, you have no idea. And if that required any prove, you provide with your derisive allusion to the collective memory of horrific persecutions in a great many places over the course of hundreds of years continuing to the present.
Seamus: ...my point, which was that looking out for the interests of people who share your ethnicity isn't an example of self-interest, but rather of a kind of altruism? (The same point could be made about Cuban-Americans who support continuation of the embargo...)
There may be superficial likenesses between the concerns of Jewish Americans for Israel and that of Cuban-Americans for Cuba, but they are superficial. Israel, which serves as a refuge for persecuted Jews from around the world, has faced an existential threat since its creation (and before); Cuba does not serve as a refuge for anyone, save from time to time the occasional American felon, and it faces no existential threat, though Fidel's government hopefully doesn't have too many years left.

I don't see anything to your "not self-interest, rather a kind of altruism" distinction.
9.16.2009 4:07pm
Toby:
@zuch

Which is odd, because Coughlin was a Democrat.
Or so he claimed. Earlier in his career. So is Lyndon LaRouche, I'd note. On the other side of the aisle, wasn't John Wayne Gacy a Republican? Ted Bundy was, I know.

Cheers

Gacy, the Killer Clown, was a Democratic Party precinct captain, at least he was when his picture was taken with R Carter...which actually makes him another Chicago Democrat...

Even so, there is a world of difference between criminal psychos who are proabalby stochastically distributed over both parties and major political spkespersons, such as Coughlin...
9.16.2009 4:09pm
Jonathan Rubinstein (mail) (www):
The Jewish people are a necklace of remnants since the "first" remnant left Egypt with Moses. Without the Diaspora of Jews who left Europe after 1875, the railroad coming bringing modern murder toward Jews to regions that had been relatively calm since the Anabaptists, there would be no Israel today. The Jews of America, the great majority of them secular descendants of religious people who left Europe with nothing, were secular to 90% in one generation. Active in labor unions and leftist politics, an argument can be made this activism occupied the social space previously held by the schul. Many of the grandchildren of these folk married out and have become goyim, a process that has happened to Jews over and over again. The liberal Jewish Diaspora is at its end. There is a worldwide revival of religious feeling, spawned by Islam and Hiroshima. It is affecting Jews as well. Will Israel produce new forms of Jewish practice? It is beginning to happen in the U.S. As the assault on Am Yisroel which began in the 1870s in Central Europe now involves three continents -- Europe,Western Asia and South America, and the attack on NYC can be seen as an attack on Jews (in some Arab minds)-- the manner in which Jews evolve is likely to be unlike anything we have experienced or remember. Podhoretz is voice of the past. Oddly enough, so is Obama.
9.16.2009 4:14pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
JFTR, John Wayne Gacy was a Democrat. However, Ted Bundy was a Republican.
9.16.2009 4:16pm
Oren:

Got it. Then most of the black hattters I know are in the non-demonizing quadrant AFAIK.

And the demonizing section of the RR is (rightly, I believe) terrifyingly alien to many Jews.
9.16.2009 4:18pm
mossypete (mail):
As a 50's-60's vintage NY Jew, my take is that liberal-ism/progressive-ism seems to be more open to and protective of individual freedoms for members of minority religions/lifestyles etc. This is balanced against single issue knee jerk support for anything Israel does without criticism.

My mother voted for Nixon...twice because of perceived support for Israel ( even with draft age sons in the house) and continued voting for Bush 1 and 2 for the same reason
Dad was straight democratic voter in the national elections but went for Guiliani in local elections.


My extended family ranges from orthodox/ultra orthodox to nearly secular - the orthodox end of the spectrum tends to vote republican for their blind support of anything Israel does and the Republican position in the culture wars. In our traditional holiday political arguments discussions the authoritarian influences come through in the belief that liberalism is destroying Judaism in the US because and point to me as a prime example of what allowing freedom to choose brings.


The secular end of the curve sees liberalism as freedom to practice or not practice religion, homosexuality, consort with and befriend members of other religions, eat BBQ, Chinese food and other interesting and traif cuisines and engage in various perversions such as camping, sailing and working with your hands.
9.16.2009 4:20pm
Oren:

Israel, which serves as a refuge for persecuted Jews from around the world, has faced an existential threat since its creation (and before);

Militarily, that claim is overrated, at least as it purports to apply to the 21st century. Israel alone could annihilate her neighbors -- even fighting alone in a conventional air war.

The persistence of this illusion does very little to improve practical Israeli security and may even do tangible harm insofar as it focuses our efforts on large and improbable dangers to the detriment of dealing with smaller but more germane ones.
9.16.2009 4:23pm
neurodoc:
Hugh59 and yankev, you may be crossing paths like ships passing one another in the night, never knowing it. (I take it you aren't likely to find yourselves sitting in the same pew, especially since your are at different places in terms of religious observance, but perhaps at bar mitzvah, wedding, or the like.) You both describe yourselves as of conservative Republicans, which coupled with the Jewish component should make you both prospects for the RJC, who would be delighted to have someone who worked for the Christian Coalition.
9.16.2009 4:23pm
Hugh59:
Do you know your fellow Buckeye, who also resides in Columbus, that is Hugh59


Who are you calling a buckeye, neurodoc? What have I done to you to make you insult me so? Okay, I have a BA and a JD from the Ohio State University. But my LL.M. is from the University of Florida. I am a GATOR! ;-)

Just kidding.
9.16.2009 4:27pm
neurodoc:
Oren: Militarily, that claim is overrated, at least as it purports to apply to the 21st century. Israel alone could annihilate her neighbors -- even fighting alone in a conventional air war.
You are so confident of that that you think Israel's concern about Iran is nothing but hysteria or cynically manipulative. That confidence comports nicely with your "progressive" weltenschaung.
9.16.2009 4:28pm
Hugh59:
yankev:

My family belonged to Winding Hollow, but we gave up our membeship in the mid 70s. I am just a poor corrupt official now; I can't afford to join a country club.

Irony of ironies...my brother-in-law was head chef of the Columbus Country Club for many years. I believe that it refused to allow Jews to join. Of course, I could be wrong (or they could have changed their rules).
9.16.2009 4:30pm
yankev (mail):

As a 50's-60's vintage NY Jew, my take is that liberal-ism/progressive-ism seems to be more open to and protective of individual freedoms for members of minority religions/lifestyles etc.
This was true then. It is not as true now, when the left (which in many respects is no longer liberal)is at least as likely as the right to try to use the power of the law to criminalize speech that offends it, or even to impose prior restraint on that speech. On some campuses, and for that matter in some cities, pro Israel speakers have less chance of the administration approving their event than Yick Wo had of getting a laundry license.
9.16.2009 4:30pm
Hugh59:
The RJC. I know them. And they were very pleased to know me...at least back in my CCA days.

One day, back in 2001, I was in a meeting in the majority leader's office. The new lobbyist for the RJC was across the table from me. He looked familiar. When he saw the puzzled look on my face he said something along the lines of, "Remember me Hugh? I am William Daroff." I knew him from the early 90s when he worked for then-Governor Voinovich.
9.16.2009 4:34pm
yankev (mail):

the orthodox end of the spectrum tends to vote republican for their blind support of anything Israel does
Like Reagan cancelling the AWACS sale because of Osirak? Or Bush 41's insistence on a housing freeze
and his support for Arafat? And his refusal to give Israel FOF codes during Gulf War I?

Or Bush 43's insistence that the Palestinians were entitled to a state with no Jews in it? Or Condi Rice's comparing Israel's security measures to the US Segregation she grew up with? Or Bob Ney's objection to Israel's rescuing the hostages at the Church of the Nativity? Bush 43's acceptance of the PA's catch-and-release policy?
9.16.2009 4:36pm
Oren:

You are so confident of that that you think Israel's concern about Iran is nothing but hysteria or cynically manipulative. That confidence comports nicely with your "progressive" weltenschaung.

No, I don't think it's hysteria or cynical manipulation. I merely think that the analysis of the threat is in error.

This is an ironclad rule of mine -- people that I disagree with may be mistaken, but I insist on extraordinary proof before concluding that there is a defect in the person as opposed to the position.
9.16.2009 4:36pm
neurodoc:
Hugh59: Who are you calling a buckeye, neurodoc? What have I done to you to make you insult me so? Okay, I have a BA and a JD from the Ohio State University. But my LL.M. is from the University of Florida. I am a GATOR! ;-)
More of an insult than you might imagine.

We had season tickets to the University of Michigan football games, and the high point of my week was the trip to Ann Arbor on Saturdays with my father to cheer for the blue and gold. I was flabbergasted and crestfallen when Woody Hayes' team, with Howard Hopalong Cassidy and Buddy Parker (>50 years ago) beat my beloved Wolverines. A few years later we lived in Miami and had season tickets to the University of Miami Hurricanes games. So no great love for Gators either. But I expect you're a fine person notwithstanding your educational background.

[PS: I know yankev to be both a former Badger and Gopher.]
9.16.2009 4:37pm
yankev (mail):

Who are you calling a buckeye, neurodoc?
Nice to know I am not the only non-Buckeye in town, but then again pro sports have always bored me.
9.16.2009 4:38pm
Hugh59:
I met Woody once. I had a long talk with him when I was a law student. I was walking back to the law school and I saw him come out of a barber shop on High Street. He walked with me over to the law school and we talked for quite a while.

Of course, that was before I saw the true light and became a Gator.
9.16.2009 4:39pm
MarkField (mail):

It's a useful distinction given that Evangelical Christians AFAIK do not seem themselves as the heirs of the Roman Catholic church.


It's a useful distinction today, but not one in 1099. ECs see themselves as the heirs of the first Christians (i.e., 1st C). They also see themselves, rather than Rome, as "true" Christians.

However, Catholics in 1099 were very much a proselytizing faith, much as most ECs are today. They also saw themselves as the heirs of the first Christians and "true" to the faith.
9.16.2009 4:43pm
neurodoc:
Hugh59: "Remember me Hugh? I am William Daroff."
Bulls-eye on more scores than you can imagine (e.g., William's father is the reason I am "neurodoc;" my oldest was an intern for William's immediate predecessor Ari; I am waiting on a letter of introduction from William as we speak; etc.). William is officially "non-partisan" in his new job; I was never, and am not now, nor do I expect ever to be, the true believer that he is/was in the Republican cause. I am at best a RINO in the eyes of the idiots that have driven moderates out of the "big tent," and even that is more than I will admit to these days.
9.16.2009 4:46pm
neurodoc:
I met Woody once. I had a long talk with him when I was a law student. I was walking back to the law school and I saw him come out of a barber shop on High Street. He walked with me over to the law school and we talked for quite a while.

Of course, that was before I saw the true light and became a Gator.
A friend of mine was his neurologist and was very impressed by Hayes, who it seems was quite learned in military history. But what was he thinking when he punched that player?

One is supposed to be loyal to their alma mater, that being their undergraduate school (unless like me, you went to a school without varsity football). To favor a school where they earned an LLM over the one where they earned both a BA and JD might be seen as opportunism or worse.
9.16.2009 4:53pm
Hugh59:
My dad was a doctor here in Columbus. I still have his last car, a 1974 VW Beetle convertible in the brightest green you could ever imagine. His license plate is currently on my mom's car: GYN.

I guess you know what kind of doc my dad was.
9.16.2009 4:56pm
Hugh59:
The Buckeyes broke my heart too many times. I traded my loyalties to a team that I really don't care about so that I would never suffer that kind of heartbreak again.

This is ironic because, like yankev, I am not a sports fan.

Neurodoc, I will forgive you and consider you to be a friend.
9.16.2009 5:00pm
Seamus (mail):

There may be superficial likenesses between the concerns of Jewish Americans for Israel and that of Cuban-Americans for Cuba, but they are superficial. Israel, which serves as a refuge for persecuted Jews from around the world, has faced an existential threat since its creation (and before); Cuba does not serve as a refuge for anyone, save from time to time the occasional American felon, and it faces no existential threat, though Fidel's government hopefully doesn't have too many years left.



What does any of this have to do with the question of whether supporting policies that don't benefit you personally, but that benefit people who share your ethnicity, is self-interested?
9.16.2009 5:00pm
neurodoc:
Oren: This is an ironclad rule of mine --people that I disagree with may be mistaken, but I insist on extraordinary proof before concluding that there is a defect in the person as opposed to the position.
And I have no reason to believe there is any defect in you as a person, though I do see your progressive weltenschaung as a evidence of defective thinking. (Fair to refer to it as your "progressive weltenschaung"? Do I mischaracterize your thinking? You seem not to be PEP, that is Progressive Except on Palestine; do you break ranks with progressive thinking on anything of great consequence?)
Nice to know I am not the only non-Buckeye in town, but then again pro sports have always bored me.
Hugh59 is a Buckeye, he just doesn't want to own up to it. And to my knowledge no pro sports team anywhere is known as Buckeyes, only OSU teams are so known. (But then you didn't know that your schoolmate was an NFL All-Pro either.)
9.16.2009 5:05pm
neurodoc:
Seamus: What does any of this have to do with the question of whether supporting policies that don't benefit you personally, but that benefit people who share your ethnicity, is self-interested?
Four hundred years old, but I think it's still good law today:
No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee.
If you want it with particularity to Jews, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klal_Yisrael for starters.
9.16.2009 5:15pm
Seamus (mail):
nerudoc: That quotation from Donne is good for inducing warm and fuzzy feelings, but if taken seriously erases any difference between altruism and self-interest. If that's your intention, that's fine, but please say so; it would keep us from continuing to talk past one another.
9.16.2009 5:25pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
It seems to me that the "center" of UK politics is fairly far to the left of the "center" of US politics. This might be worth considering in the analysis too.
9.16.2009 5:25pm
yankev (mail):

However, Catholics in 1099 were very much a proselytizing faith, much as most ECs are today. They also saw themselves as the heirs of the first Christians and "true" to the faith.
And this means I should be afraid of similar actions by today's Evangelical Christians?

Neurodoc if you think the Buckeyes aren't a pro team, you haven't been in Columbus on a game day. But maybe I should have said that watching other people (friends and family excepted) play sports bores me.

Reminds me though of the old story of why Columbus will never get a major league baseball team -- if we get one, Cleveland will want one. (But it's not as much fun to tell that without an Indians fan in the room.)
9.16.2009 5:28pm
Seamus (mail):
neurodoc: Also, while the quotation from Donne and the citation to Wikipedia are relevant to "the question of whether supporting policies that don't benefit you personally, but that benefit people who share your ethnicity, is self-interested," they don't answer my question about what your 4:07 pm post has to do with that question. But I won't look a gift horse in the mouth; it's good to have you back on-topic.
9.16.2009 5:29pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
And I see Yankev beat me to it. :-)
9.16.2009 5:30pm
neurodoc:
Hugh59, you say, "I guess you know what kind of doc my dad was." Did your father ever explain to you what his specialty involved? That an obstetrician is someone who catches sleep in snatches; and, a gynecologist is a spreader of old wives tails? (My late father was one too. It was when he was doing a residency in Detroit that we went to those Michigan games, and when he was an assistant prof in Miami that we went to those Hurricane games.)

I am not much of a sports fan, but I do favor those schools that have granted me degrees. No conflicts for me with regard to football loyalties, since Beavers didn't do football, and only Terps occasionally matter; generally not a problem with lacrosse, but sometimes Terps give Blue Jays a hard time; at times a problem with basketball, since both Hoyas and Terps have been at the very top, but usually not at the same time.
9.16.2009 5:31pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Now on to the Democrat v. Republican flamewar that is raging.

First, over the last century or so the bar to what counts as antisemitism has decreased. So the antisemitism of the 1900's is nothing at all like the antisemitism of today. However, Christian groups as a whole tend to have inherited some elements of antisemitic thought which have not been fully addressed or discussed mostly because it has been papered over since people rightly fear that if folks saw it for what it was it would be blamed for the Holocaust.

The fundamental problem is that both these parties associate with antisemites of different varieties. Neither party is REALLY interested in its own platform but rather in power. Both are heavily statist organizations which see government as the answer far more than the problem. Both tend to want to regulate some areas which should be deregulated and deregulate some areas that should be regulated. While the Republicans sometimes appear as hyperorganized (to the point of Sir Joseph Porter syndrome), the Democrats tend to be openly anti-federalist.

In the end, I have no respect for party politics at all. I hence tend to vote for candidates, rather than parties.
9.16.2009 5:49pm
neurodoc:
Seamus, my children are in their majority, so I have no obligation to support them financially, and I don't depend on them for financial support. So if I care about that which affects their lives but not mine, then we are talking "altruism" rather than my "self-interest"? I would call it the latter, but if you think it the former for sociobiologic or whatever reasons, I see no point in arguing it. By extension, if you think American Jews care about what affects the well-being of Jews in Israel and elsewhere in the world is a matter of "altruism" rather than "self-interest," I see no point in arguing that either.

When you mockingly talk about concerns on the part of American Jews that they may one day have to look to Israel for refuge because of pograms here, I have little patience for whatever it is you are trying to say or intimate ("dual citizenship"). I have tried to distinguish for you the collective experiences and memories of Cuban Americans from those of Jewish American, and suggested "Klal Yisrael" as a basis for understanding, but you just don't get it. Perhaps someone else can do a better job of it than I, that is if you are really interested in understanding.

And you will have to forgive me the digressions. They are a relief from the tedium of our exchanges.
9.16.2009 5:51pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Andrew J. Lazarus:
JFTR, John Wayne Gacy was a Democrat. However, Ted Bundy was a Republican.
I stand corrected. But my point remains that self-identification of singular individuals (David Duke, Lyndon LaRouche) doesn't reflect the party identity very accurately. And in addition, Coughlin gave up his nominal Democratic affiliation. By their acts shall ye know them.

Cheers,
9.16.2009 5:59pm
neurodoc:
einhrverfr: First, over the last century or so the bar to what counts as antisemitism has decreased.
I think the bar has increased, that is risen, since 1967, with "antisemitism" subsumed by "anti-Zionism," and "anti-Zionism" becoming more and more a part of the "progressive," anti-colonalist dogma.
9.16.2009 6:00pm
Mark Mittleman (mail):
The issue of Jews' irrational attachment to the excesses of contemporary "progressivism" is really nothing new. The whole Tanakh is full of accounts of Jews--including kings and their supporters--who fell away from observant monotheism and even practiced idolatry, astrology and the like, despite all the instructions from Sinai and all the history to indicate the perils of doing so. This, indeed, is the theme of Podhoretz's own book on the Prophets. Many if not most of the Jews in the 17th century fell for the false messiah Sabbatai Tzvi, and even after that bad example lots of others did it again before long with the even greater charlatan Jacob Frank. There was a constant battle between the sober rabbinical traditionalists and the "practical kabbalists" trafficking in magic amulets, including no less than the Baal Shem Tov. The Mithnagdim may have had the better of the intellectual argument with the Chassidim, but they sure didn't win the popularity contest.

Smart people believe dumb things, and do dumb things, all the time. The Jewish tradition is something of a corrective to that problem of humanity, but not a panacea. Since we don't generally consider that the Messiah has really come yet (and definitely hasn't come for the second time), we shouldn't be surprised. It's easy to say that Jews shouldn't have fallen for Marx, Freud, or Betty Friedan, and shouldn't have mistaken John Ashcroft for Father Coughlin, but stuff happens.
9.16.2009 6:02pm
Perseus (mail):
Further, while I do not know where to look for a citation or link, I had data as recently as Spring 07 that showed longitudinal tracking of several factors and political leanings. The results indicated that, as educational level progresses, people are more likely to identify as 'liberal.'

Of course, those data are consistent with the indoctrination thesis.
9.16.2009 6:49pm
~aardvark (mail):
Podhoretz is a self-promoting idiot and does not deserve the space that Somin is giving him here. Along with Pipes and Kristol, he clearly shows that intellectual capacity is not an inherited characteristic (even if general IQ may possibly be). It amazes me that anyone would publish a book whose single thesis is so completely wrong. But Regnery and Simon&Schuster have done worse before--no surprise, really.

Does that make Somin right? There are several aspects of his claim that need to be separated. (1) Somin's general claim is that first- and second-wave Jewish immigrants have all been significantly influenced by a close association between American conservatism and Christian Right. (2) Somin's specific counterpoint is that third-wave (late Soviet and later still CIS) immigration contrasts strongly with (1). One also needs to analyze (3) how Jews distribute internationally and (4) the difference between religious and more secular Jews (really the only point that concerns Podhoretz).

As Clinton and Obama exit polls show, self-identified Jews prefer Democrats over Republicans by between 3:1 and 4:1 ratios. This is all-inclusive--including the Russians, the Israelis, the Ultra-Orthodox. It might even include Jews for Jesus. What that means is that if we exclude these conservative-leaning groups, the fraction of Democrat-voting Jews among the remainder is close to 90%. This is an absurdly high number for any ethnic group--rivaling African-American support for Democrats. This alone should be sufficient to demonstrate the idiocy of Podhoretz's claim--one thing that these numbers do not account for is the presence of religion in the lives of these voters. If we are to believe Podhoretz, we would have to accept that religion plays no role in the lives of 90% of Jews who neither immigrated from the former Soviet Union or Israel, nor belong to the most extreme religious sects. This is patently absurd.

Now, would this also support or contradict Somin's claim that these voting patterns are brought on by the fear of Religious Right? I really don't see how Somin's point could follow simply from this. At this kind of distribution, all large clusters of Jews--including urban and suburban NYC, suburban Chicago, etc.--would have to produce fairly high percentage of Democratic vote as well. In other words, the fear of Religious Right would have to be geographically independent. There are multiple problems with that claim, but there are just too many variable to take into account here to make anything but a vague generalization.

So, let's move on to (2). "Russian" Jews are predominantly conservative and/or Republican. Having to deal with the issue in my own family, I can certainly agree with this, in principle. Adult first-generation, third-wave Jewish immigrants tend to be conservative, choosing to close their eyes on the alliance with Religious Right. It's not just that the Religious Right has reformed and now proclaims itself a friend of Israel--note, in particular, that they use that very terminology, "friend of Israel", not "friend of the Jews". In fact, most of the "friends of Israel" are really blatantly anti-Semitic. It is impossible not to know this--this is a clear example of selective neglect, a willful blindness. Somin is correct that these immigrants do not have long-term experience with Religious Right that previous immigrant generations would have had. But I would suggest that the root of the split is somewhere else entirely.

"Russian" Jews have direct, first-hand experience with excesses of totalitarian Communism, in all its anti-semitic glory. In this light, they tend to see any socialist tendencies as a slippery slope toward the same development here. Never mind that recent "Russian" immigrants in Western Europe don't have any problems with social welfare systems or other supposedly socialist policies in their adoptive homes. Once in the US, they buy into the conservative propaganda identifying liberal policies with Socialism and Communism, no matter how absurd the claims are. So the problem may well be an over-reaction to their previous experience rather than lack of experience in US politics.

The same may well apply to Israeli immigrants--there are smaller number of these than the "Russians", but still a substantial fraction of Jewish population. Many Israelis, no matter how much affection they have for Israel, often see domestic Israeli policies as socialist. If one ever stood in line at an Israeli bank or post office, he knows what I am talking about. Combine that with an attitude that Democrats/liberals want appeasement with the Arabs--also cultivated by conservative propaganda--and you have a perfect excuse for leaning Right.

The problem will all this is that it only applies to adult first-generation immigrants. The views of those who immigrated here as children, or the second generation--children born here--are more evenly distributed if not leaning in the opposite direction. In other words, majority of the younger Jews who were raised here in third-wave immigrant families tend to follow American Jewry in general and not political preferences of their parents. Somin would have to argue that this is due to their more direct experience with the Religious Right--a claim that would be strongly undermined by the sudden Evangelical love for Israel. I don't share this view. These Jews have something entirely different in common--they lack, on the whole, the experience with East European governments and populations that their parents had. They are far more likely to attribute pervasive anti-semitism in their parents' former homelands to cultural attitudes than to government ideology--a conclusion supported by the fact that anti-semitism has not abated with the change in governing structure.

Although there are substantial Jewish communities in Canada and Australia, they pale in comparison with the relative size of Jewish community in the US. The Jewish vote in the UK does not have the same significance or influence as it does in the US. This is further complicated by the nature of the origin of the Jewish communities in the US vs those in the UK, Canada and Australia (also Argentina, South Africa and a handful of other countries where there is any noticeable distinction). The first-wave Jewish immigrants--largely impoverished and persecuted--almost entirely ended up in the US. They did not go to Canada and Australia--which were still under the Crown. And those who went to the UK or South Africa were not of the same SES as those who came to the US. Some of the second-wave immigrants--between the wars--were often either economically better off or, in a few cases, under government protection--which is what allowed many of them to emigrate from Continental Europe. They and others--those who came following WWII--had been influenced by entirely different motives than their predecessors. The majority were secular and strongly assimilated even prior to immigration. Those who came to the US had been largely absorbed into the Jewish community rather than assimilating in general. Those who went other countries often were forced to follow a different path. This alone can account for the distinction between political attitude of US Jews vs. those of other countries. This point also fails to support either Podhoretz or Somin.

The issue of religion is interesting. The more insular, strict religious sects tend to be more conservative, in general, for obvious reasons. It should not be at all surprising that Ultra-Orthodox often align themselves with political conservatives. This is not just the case with the Jews. Another traditionally liberal religious group in the US--Catholics--also has a similar voting pattern. Those who are more strongly religious and attend services more frequently also tend to support conservatives and Republicans. Those who self-identify as Catholics, but are less tied to the Church tend to support Democrats--in both cases, by roughly the same numbers, 2:1. Although some of this may appear to be due to the presence of Latino minorities, it hardly explains the distribution--US Latinos range widely in their religiosity and there does not appear to be strict correspondence in this sense.

But, of course, as has been pointed out by others, beyond the Ultra-Orthodox, there is no correspondence between the fraction of conservative votes and the degree of religiosity among Jews. Podhoretz's pattern cannot be supported by data, as Jewish conservative voters are far more likely to be secular than religious. This pattern actually suggests the opposite relationship--that Judaism, like Catholicism, supports the more liberal social policies, except when it enters the realm of literalism or religious mysticism. This can be easily exemplified by the English Catholic Church (not the Scotland one) endorsing Labour in parliamentary elections about a decade ago--the first time such an endorsement had been offered. The official statement specifically pointed out that, although the Church disagreed with the party policies on abortion and several other narrow issues, the general social policies of the liberals were far more closely aligned with those of the Catholic Church. Ostensibly, this is the same reason why the majority of Catholics continued to support liberal policies in the US even after they've outgrown "immigration necessity" that they shared with the first-wave Jews.

So Somin--like Podhoretz--is incorrect in rejecting the origin of Jewish liberal alignment as based on religious values. The fact that the most overtly religious sector is more conservative should not be too surprising at all--it's the difference between the spirit and the letter of the law. Those who support the more literal, stricter interpretations and adherence to traditions and rituals are far more likely to translate this cultural conservatism to a political one. This explains nearly completely the seemingly contradictory numbers on Jews and Catholics.

But there is another aspect that neither Podhoretz nor Somin consider. In fact, many liberal Jews (aside from a handful of academics and student activists) tend to have dual personality when it comes to politics. They are overwhelmingly liberal except when the question of Israel comes up. What this means is that they will support most of the liberal domestic policy and even most liberal foreign policy, except when it deals with Israel or other Middle-Eastern states. I personally know a number of local Jews who overwhelmingly support Democrats on virtually all points of their agenda, but become "conservative" activists when defending Israel.

The point here is that the distinction between support and non-support for Israel is much more complicated than most pundits would try to make us believe. It is also far more than the distinction between criticism of Israel's policies and anti-semitism. There are anti-semites both on the Right and on the Left, just as there are radical isolationists on the Right whose arguments remarkably resemble those offered for self-determination on the Left (Pat Buchanan, for example, is both a rabid anti-semite and an isolationist, as is Ron Paul). But among Jews, the likes of Finkelstein are a radical exception, a virtual anathema to most, not the kind of low-hanging fruit for bashing liberal Jews that many conservatives would like to believe. The main difference that allows the Jews to remain overall liberal, despite protectionism of Israel, is the fact that they are not single issue voters and, therefore, they cannot accept the entire conservative slate. It's really a trivial matter--the issues that rile up the Christian Right, do not stir the Jews even slightly. So it's not the hatred and distrust for the Christian Right that keeps the Jews out of Republican ranks--it is lack of cultural convergence.

Any reductionist attempt to explain "ethnic" political trends is bound to failure. It does not matter whether it is offered as a stand-alone theory or a rebuttal to someone else's theory. The issue is complex and hinges on a number of variables, so it cannot be boiled down to a series of yes-no questions. This is where both Somin and Podhoretz go wrong.
9.16.2009 6:50pm
~aardvark (mail):

Coughlin was a Democrat.
Or so he claimed. Earlier in his career. So is Lyndon LaRouche, I'd note.


Well, so were Ronald Reagan and Bill Bennett. So what?

Besides, LaRouche and many of his followers have routinely been kicked out of the Democratic party and their candidates decertified. Dems won't accept LaRouche as one of their own even if Republicans welcome Pat Buchanan back.

As for Coughlin and the Civil Rights obstructionists in the 1960s, just remember that they switched parties. There is no question that if Coughlin operated today, he'd be a Republican activist (and a Teabagger to boot!).
9.16.2009 6:53pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Neurodoc:

I think the bar has increased, that is risen, since 1967, with "antisemitism" subsumed by "anti-Zionism," and "anti-Zionism" becoming more and more a part of the "progressive," anti-colonalist dogma.


I don't know. I suppose one can argue that displacing one group to give a homeland to another group is a fundamental mistake.

But there are serious problems now that such a mistake has been made. My own thinking is that we need to argue that one important element of a solution is that the governments of the PA and the state of Israel should control territory not people, hence Israeli settlers should be legally entitled to participate in the Palestinian political process and must be protected by Palestinian security forces.

The other option is to make all Palestinians into Israeli nationals and nobody really wants that.
9.16.2009 7:08pm
MarkField (mail):

And this means I should be afraid of similar actions by today's Evangelical Christians?


Some of them, yes. But the fact that Catholics in 1099 didn't call themselves "evangelical" has nothing to do with whether you should fear them or today's Evangelicals.
9.16.2009 7:30pm
eyesay:
scattergood wrote, "Sure there are some left leaning Christian clergy, but they are clearly the exception...."

What is your basis for the implied assertion that only a small minority of American Christian clergy men and women hold left of center political views? I think you would find that the political views of American Christian clergy are pretty close to that of Americans who are not Christian clergy, except perhaps stronger than average support for the notion that poverty is offensive to God and that we have both an individual and a collective obligation to assist those who are ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-fed, and ill-cared for. The idea that private charity alone is sufficient to address these needs is one that I believe is shared by only a minority of American Christian clergy. So far in this discussion, my evidence is as good as yours. If you have statistics to support your view, I'm open to seeing them.
9.16.2009 7:37pm
Oren:

And I have no reason to believe there is any defect in you as a person, though I do see your progressive weltenschaung as a evidence of defective thinking.

(1) I was referring not to your characterizing of my position but rather your characterization of my characterization of the position of Israelis concerned about Iran. Specifically, you wrote about my characterization:

You are so confident of that that you think Israel's concern about Iran is nothing but hysteria or cynically manipulative. That confidence comports nicely with your "progressive" weltenschaung.

This is not a fair characterization of my position. I believe the Israelis have erred in there assessment of the probable thread from Iran out of regular human fallibility, not hysteria or connivance.




Fair to refer to it as your "progressive weltenschaung"? Do I mischaracterize your thinking? You seem not to be PEP, that is Progressive Except on Palestine; do you break ranks with progressive thinking on anything of great consequence?

I prefer to think of myself as the 21st century version of the 19th century liberal. Free expression, civil/social/sexual liberty and individual autonomy are high on the list. Consequently, I'm not with the progressives on guns, taxes, drugs, unions, hate speech, means-regulation (versus ends-regulation), affirmative action and the general progressive impulse to substitute top-down for bottom-up.

On the other hand, American conservatism does not appear to be any more compatible with the "big three" either, preferring to substitute a different, but ultimately just as arbitrary, set of values in place of individual choice.

In modern parlance, I'd probably be classified as liberal-libertarian or libertine-libertarian.
9.16.2009 7:50pm
Oren:

The issue of Jews' irrational attachment to the excesses of contemporary "progressivism" is really nothing new.

The issue of Mark Mittleman's persistent engagements with male prostitutes is also really nothing new.

Now, if you want to discuss whether the Jewish attachment to liberalism is irrational, I'd love to discuss it. On the other hand, if you don't feel the need to support that assertion before you go on to explain it well, then, enjoy your date.
9.16.2009 7:56pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yankev:

When someone refers to Orthodox Jews as fundamentalists


As far as I can tell, the word means this:

A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.


I hope you'll explain how that definition is incongruent with Orthodox Judaism.

he is saying three things


#2 and #3 are correct. I hope you will show why #1 is correct, since, after all, you purportedly have "respect for thoughtful intelligence and fact-based reasoning."

while Foxman may have been tapped to lead the liberal organization ADL, he has not been annointed as the sole judge of what is and is not anti-Semitic


Hopefully you'll explain what makes various internet commenters a better "judge" than him.

those [the Crusaders] were not evangelical Christians


What were they? Buddhists? Yes, what we know as modern Evangelicalism did not exist back then. So what? The parallels are still sufficiently obvious.

On the other hand, using (allegedly) Christian beliefs as an excuse to kill people is part of current events.


Although to a much lesser degree than Muslim beliefs and socialist beliefs.


Murderous nuts come in many different flavors. And at any given moment in history, some particular variety might be inflicting more damage than some other variety. That doesn't mean the rest of the murderous nuts aren't murderous nuts.

the question is to what extent and how representative?


Eric Rudolph was hidden from the FBI and treated as a hero (link, link, link). This tells me that the answer is 'more representative than you care to admit.'

this means [in comparison with the Crusades] I should be afraid of similar actions by today's Evangelical Christians?


Yes, and I just explained why.

I am done replying to you.


Promises, promises. Various people here have expressed the same intention and then ended up letting me down.

==================
zarkov:

Do you actually know very many Jews personally?


Until I went to college I had very little contact with non-Jews. Aside from when I used public transportation, I was very rarely near non-Jews. And then I attended a college that was about 50% Jews.

How about you? Ever met a Jew?

==================
nieporent:

Funny how your evidence of Republican anti-semitism managed to go back 70 years to find an alleged example


Funny how your claim is disconnected from reality. The list I posted here (which I am now citing in this thread for the third time) is mostly current examples.

but your analysis here can't manage to back more than 10 months.


I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. You said this:

to the extent they [the Left Behind series] have any significance at all, they are very anti-Catholic, but I do not see Catholics citing them as reasons why they might vote Democratic.


I presented an example which proves you are wrong, and which shows that the Left Behind series is indeed a reason "why they [Catholics] might vote Democratic." You "do not see" only because you choose to not look. And whether the example is 10 months old or 10 years old makes no difference.

most of your examples of alleged Republican anti-semitism were based on precisely that sort of guilt-by-association.


Some of them were and some of them weren't. And for those that were (like McCain and Hagee), who cares? I did not claim that McCain is an antisemite. It was various people other than me who made claims about antisemitism-by-proxy. So you're pretending I've been inconsistent, even though I haven't been inconsistent.

Coughlin was a Democrat.


Coughlin first supported FDR, but then condemned FDR and backed Wilkie. And according the Holocaust Encyclopedia, published by the US Holocaust Museum, Coughlin was "a right-wing populist."

==================
neuro:

Is this one not among the links you have at the ready, or is it that you prefer to ignore it for these purposes?
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/magazine/14foxman.t.html


If you mean have I read every word ever written about Foxman, no, I haven't. In particular, I haven't read that 5,000 word article, and I don't intend to. But I do hope you'll explain why you cited it. It says nothing about Wright.

if you have been voting a straight Democratic ticket for >30 years


I wonder what it is I said that might have given you the impression that I "have been voting a straight Democratic ticket for >30 years." This is not the first sign that your responses to me are based on something other than what I've actually said.

==================
seamus:

That seems more like an example of a county-club Republican hoodwinking the yokels by pretending to be one of them than proof that "the yokels are now in charge."


What I said about GWB was intended as "an example of a county-club Republican hoodwinking the yokels by pretending to be one of them." It was not intended to prove that "the yokels are now in charge." I consider that pretty self-evident. If you haven't noticed, pay attention to Posner.

And I guess it keeps you from voting for the political party that they support, even though they will only stop being nice to you after an event occurs that you believe isn't going to happen


When I notice someone is being nice to me for reasons I find irrational and offensive, I will be inclined to not make too many unwarranted assumptions about how reliable their niceness is. When someone is irrational, one set of irrational motivations is easily replaced by another set of irrational motivations, possibly leading to big changes in behavior. As slater said, "why do I want to ally with a bunch of kooks?"

==================
chris:

Currently, undergraduates are considerably more likely to identify as 'liberal' and with the Democratic Party. There is even a notable percentage that self-idenitfy as 'leftist.'


Yes. It's interesting to notice that young people don't wet their beds when they hear the word "socialism."

==================
just the facts:

the ADL's periodic surveys about anti-Semitism find that … Democrats more anti-Semitic than Republicans


Really? That's interesting. I wonder what ADL you're talking about. Because the ADL I know of said this (pdf, p. 41):

The 10 years of ADL research have shown that political ideology and party affiliation are not drivers of anti-Semitic propensities


So hopefully you'll cite your source.

the passing on of these false beliefs about anti-Semitism


Thank goodness you would never do anything like that.

==================
mossy:

various perversions such as camping, sailing and working with your hands


That reminds me of this old joke:

Your book reminded me of the joke about the woman who asked her rabbi if she and her husband could experiment sexually. Sex with her on top was fine, he told her. Oral sex? No problem. But when she asked if they could have sex standing up, he said that was forbidden, because it could lead to mixed dancing.


==================
einhverfr:

And I see Yankev beat me to it. :-)


The person who said what you said here before you said it was yankee, not yankev.

==================
perseus:

as educational level progresses, people are more likely to identify as 'liberal.'


Of course, those data are consistent with the indoctrination thesis.


It's always inspiring to see Republicans display their deep belief in the concepts of individual responsibility and personal choice.

==================
eyesay:

I think you would find that the political views of American Christian clergy are pretty close to that of Americans who are not Christian clergy, except perhaps stronger than average support for the notion that poverty is offensive to God and that we have both an individual and a collective obligation to assist those who are ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-fed, and ill-cared for.


The Catholic Church has said that it's up to the government to make sure that every child is cared for. Not something the GOP wants people to notice.
9.16.2009 8:40pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
As for Coughlin and the Civil Rights obstructionists in the 1960s, just remember that they switched parties. There is no question that if Coughlin operated today, he'd be a Republican activist (and a Teabagger to boot!).
There's no question that you don't know any history. Coughlin's views were diametrically opposed to those of the GOP. Although he eventually broke with FDR, it wasn't because he supported small government and capitalism.
9.16.2009 9:02pm
Just the Facts:
Jukeboxgrad: I was going fast so I listed of sources and then listed the findings of those sources. I'll now be more specific.

That ADL report mentions that in one sentence without backing it up. It is not even clear to me that PA and Ideology are even in the survey. The word "party" does not appear anywhere else in that report. The ADL surveys are a source of results about Blacks, Hispanics, and SES. Dunbar measures anti-Semitism among Asian-Ameircans. Tobin and Groneman and Malhotra and Margalit show party affiliation (T&E also confirm what the ADL found about those other demographics).

Furthermore, even if there were no correlation between ideology/party and anti-Semitism, the perception among Jews that the right is particularly anti-Semitic is the politically-relevant false belief to which I refer. My argument is robust to non-correlations. Its just even stronger when they are the opposite of what most Jews think.
9.16.2009 9:05pm
~aardvark (mail):
@Nieporent

There's no question that you don't know any history. Coughlin's views were diametrically opposed to those of the GOP.


You've missed this point before and you are missing it again--I am not talking about the way the parties were divided in 1937. I am talking about the division of parties NOW. What used to be the Southern Democrats now constitute 65% of the GOP. And the Christian Right switched entirely in the Republican column, which was not the case in the past. This does not mean that all Evangelicals are either right-wing or Republican, but those who are, are both.

As for Coughlin, specifically, there also can be no question that had he tried to pull one of his speeches as a Democrat, he would have been drummed out of the party in a New York minute.

I am sure you will find something ahistorical in what I've written above. I am just as sure that I don't give an equine rear.
9.16.2009 9:11pm
~aardvark (mail):
Let me make it even simpler for you, Nieporent--read any Pat Buchanan or watched Glenn Beck lately?
9.16.2009 9:18pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
After Coughlin abandoned FDR, he was a supporter of Huey Long. Huey Long, of "share the wealth" fame. This is not the 1930s GOP, and it's not the modern GOP.
9.16.2009 9:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
just the facts:

That ADL report mentions that in one sentence without backing it up.


Earlier you said this:

the ADL's periodic surveys about anti-Semitism find that … Democrats [are] more anti-Semitic than Republicans.


Since you're a fan of backing things up, why haven't you backed that up? Where can we view "the ADL's periodic surveys about anti-Semitism [which] find that … Democrats [are] more anti-Semitic than Republicans?"

Surely that claim was not just a pure invention on your part, right? Or are you admitting that your claim was simply false?
9.16.2009 9:33pm
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Father Coughlin, who started a newsletter he called Social Justice to reach his supporters after Roosevelt had taken him off the air, would have been a Republican in this era.

~aadvark, please pass some of that excellent hashish.
9.16.2009 9:52pm
neurodoc:
jukeboxgrad: As far as I can tell, the word means this:
A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
What you cite to began with the observation that the term was coined with specific reference to Protestantism, later taking on more generalized meanings. What you left out was, "Fundamentalism is commonly used as a pejorative..." If you intend no pejorative when speaking of Orthodox Jews as "fundamentalists," where have you made that clear?

You would make Abe Foxman the final word on what can and cannot be seen as antisemitic expression (except when his judgments are inconvenient, e.g., Moran and those other Dems you'd rather not talk about). "Foxman is a Holocaust survivor who has been working for ADL since 1965, and who has won international awards for that work, and who has met with the Pope (multiple times)), seven presidents, and at least nine other heads of state." Yet you can't be bothered to read a NYT(!) look at the man.
9.16.2009 10:14pm
Just the Facts:
Jukebox - that is a pretty shameful snip job you did there. Did you read my second post at all?

In my first post, in the interest of time, I said that that list of sources combine to produce that list of findings. In my second, I broke it down further describing which findings come from each source.

I went on to justify not drawing any inferences on the party issue from the source you mentioned, since it is not clear that the finding itself was actually produced by the data in that survey, its not backed up by any actual evidence beyond assertion, and even if true (and those other papers provide evidence to the contrary), it is not a threat to my hypothesis.
9.16.2009 10:27pm
TGGP (mail) (www):
Mark Kleiman had a diavlog with Bob Wright where he explained the confusion over "fundamentalist" &"ulta-Orthodox" Jews. You have to distinguish the Haredim from Chasidim.

What did Ron Paul say that was anti-semitic?
9.16.2009 10:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
neuro:

What you cite to began with the observation that the term was coined with specific reference to Protestantism, later taking on more generalized meanings.


Correct. And? Therefore?

If you intend no pejorative when speaking of Orthodox Jews as "fundamentalists," where have you made that clear?


What gave you the impression that I "intend no pejorative when speaking of Orthodox Jews as 'fundamentalists?' " You are continuing your normal pattern of making all sorts of unwarranted assumptions.

The immediate question, since you seem to have forgotten, was this: why is it wrong to describe Orthodox Jews as fundamentalists? In what way do they fail to correspond to a commonly accepted definition?

You would make Abe Foxman the final word on what can and cannot be seen as antisemitic expression (except when his judgments are inconvenient, e.g., Moran and those other Dems you'd rather not talk about)


The thread where I talk about what you claim I did not talk about is here.

And what Foxman said about Moran is not "inconvenient" because I also condemn the same statement that Foxman condemned.

Yet you can't be bothered to read a NYT(!) look at the man.


You should explanation what (!) is for. I have a feeling it's another instance of you making unwarranted assumptions.

And yes, if you can't be bothered to explain how that 5,000-word article is relevant to this thread, I can't be bothered to read it and play guessing games with you.

=================
just the facts:

I broke it down further describing which findings come from each source.


This is your full original paragraph, unedited:

Studies such as Tobin &Groenman 2005, Dunbar 1995, Malhotra and Margalit 2009, and the ADL's periodic surveys about anti-Semitism find that minorities are considerably more anti-Semitic than whites and Democrats more anti-Semitic than Republicans.


A plain reading of your words is that "ADL's periodic surveys" support both the claims that follow. Trouble is, they don't.

And I never heard of "Dunbar 1995," but the other two "studies" you mentioned are not too impressive. They were both discussed in a prior thread.
9.16.2009 10:51pm
neurodoc:
jukeboxgrad, you would have us rely on a 1/16/08 article quoting Foxman as saying, "But nothing I’ve seen would make me call him an anti-Semite." And in reply to those who would still accuse Wright of antisemitism, you say, "He (Wright) apologized. I accept the apology. Let us know if you can demonstrate that Foxman didn't."

What about Wright's subsequent complaint that "Jews" were responsible for the rupture in his relationship with Obama? After that Wright blast, the ADL said in a press release dated 6/11/09, "The notions of Jewish control of the White House in Reverend Wright's statement express classic anti-Semitism in its most vile form."

If someone makes statements that "express classic antisemitism in its most vile form" can they be seen as antisemites? Or, in jukeboxgrad's opinion are statements expressing "antisemitism in its most vile form" insufficient to indict/convict someone as an antisemite? Given that the that 6/11/09 ADL press release made that explicit charge, is it reasonable to think that is Abe Foxman's view? Or, will you continue to stand on your, "He (Wright) apologized. I accept the apology. Let us know if you can demonstrate that Foxman didn't."? The 2007 and 2008 Foxman/ADL statements serve to exonerate Wright, but the 2009 ADL judgment does not deserve the same weight?
9.16.2009 11:32pm
~aardvark (mail):
Just to check on Long:


Denying that his program was socialist, Long stated that his ideological inspiration for the plan came not from Karl Marx but from the Bible and the Declaration of Independence. "Communism? Hell no!" he said, "This plan is the only defense this country's got against communism."


Sounds like Mike Huckabee to me!

After the 1936 election, Coughlin increasingly expressed sympathy for the fascist policies of Hitler and Mussolini as an antidote to Bolshevism.


And that was Pat Buchanan a week ago.


[Cancellation by some stations] made Coughlin a hero in Nazi Germany, where papers ran headlines claiming "America Is Not Allowed to Hear the Truth".


Does that sound like anyone we know?

After 1936, Coughlin began supporting an organization called the Christian Front, which claimed him as an inspiration. In January 1940, the Christian Front was shut down when the FBI discovered the group was arming itself and "planning to murder Jews, communists, and 'a dozen Congressmen'"[20] and eventually establish, in J. Edgar Hoover's words, "a dictatorship, similar to the Hitler dictatorship in Germany".


Inspiring stuff... Is that where teabaggers get their ideas?

@TGGP

What did Ron Paul say that was anti-semitic?


Apparently you missed the primaries in the last cycle.

On a different note, is anyone wondering why the teabaggers seem to be a joint effort by the LaRouchees and Ron Paul supporters, enabled and funded by Dick Armey?
9.16.2009 11:38pm
Just the Facts:
Jukebox -- You must surely understand what I wrote in both of my posts, but you are acting like you would rather distract from the real debate by calling me a liar. When I had time, I separated the list of papers and findings into their pairings. I am sorry that you misinterpreted my first paragraph to indicate that each survey on the list produced all of the findings.

I also assert that the ADL surveys in question (you did in fact cite one from the series I was referring to) do not seem to contain actual findings about the party issue, or if they do, a one-sentence assertion does not constitute a citable, backed-up finding. Furthermore, as I said, even if the ADL found no relationship, my argument still stands, as I am asserting that the belief that the right is particularly anti-Semitic is false. If, as those other two papers found, the left is more anti-Semitic, that's just gravy.

In a series of web postings, Malhotra said that the party result was robust to demographic controls such as race and education. Tobin and Groeneman find a somewhat more complex story with covariates, but it does not change the overall result.

It is far from clear that it is necessary or appropriate to control for anything when evaluating the question "Does group A have a higher incidence of opinion X than group B?" That calls for a bivariate relationship. I think that is a much better approximation of the relevant political question than "Does group A have a higher incidence of opinion X than group B, holding other things constant?" This is a descriptive matter, not a causal one. If one could find covariates to entirely explain why Jews are more liberal than the population as a whole, it would still be accurate to say that Jews are more liberal than the population as a whole -- the other information would simply provide explanations. Surely if Republicans were on average woefully uneducated and highly anti-Semitic, to the extent that the first fact explains the second, the first fact would cause little or no dulling of the effects of second fact on Jewish judgements of Republicans. If one group is more anti-Semitic than another, explaining it demographically (which M&M find does not work) doesn't make it false, it just makes it explained by covariates.
9.17.2009 12:01am
~aardvark (mail):

It is not as true now, when the left (which in many respects is no longer liberal) is at least as likely as the right to try to use the power of the law to criminalize speech that offends it, or even to impose prior restraint on that speech.


Ah! Herein lies the problem. Although "the left" may be "no longer liberal" in some respects, the alternative is not liberal in any respect. In fact, given the perverse debate over how reform may or may not deal with undocumented immigrants (and how can you tell if someone is an immigrant if he's undocumented?), I would say that the alternative is not only illiberal but also immoral.

I agree with the part of the sentiment that the greatest threat from the Left remains the threat to free speech. On the other hand, I don't have enough hands to count all the ways in which threats come from the Right--but the threat to free speech is among them. (Does anyone recall Defending Civilization?)
9.17.2009 12:31am
~aardvark (mail):
Hey, Nieporent--I guess, since you only objected to my supposedly unfair treatment of Father Coughlin, you must accept the rest of what I wrote, right? Or are you just nitpicking because you don't want to deal with the substance?
9.17.2009 12:36am
Ugly surname:
NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT NIEPORENT
9.17.2009 1:49am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Hey, Nieporent--I guess, since you only objected to my supposedly unfair treatment of Father Coughlin, you must accept the rest of what I wrote, right? Or are you just nitpicking because you don't want to deal with the substance?
Neither. (In fact, pretty much wrong on all fronts, since I don't object to "unfair" treatment of Coughlin, but mistaken treatment of him.) I do not accept the rest of what you wrote, but I am not "nitpicking because I don't want to deal with the substance"; I am merely objecting to what I felt like objecting to at a particular moment in time. I am under no obligation to "deal with the substance" of what you write.

(Nitpicking would be to point out that you seem to have confused Norman and John Podhoretz with your comment about intellectual capacity not being hereditary.)
9.17.2009 5:00am
David M. Nieporent (www):
And I never heard of "Dunbar 1995," but the other two "studies" you mentioned are not too impressive. They were both discussed in a prior thread.
Indeed. And in that prior thread, it was explained why you didn't understand what you were talking about, and yet -- despite your oft-repeated claim that you admit error when you make an error -- you refused to admit that fact.
9.17.2009 5:06am
~aardvark (mail):

I am merely objecting to what I felt like objecting to at a particular moment in time. I am under no obligation to "deal with the substance"


I think, that's a good summary of what you do here.
9.17.2009 7:35am
yankev (mail):

What you cite to began with the observation that the term was coined with specific reference to Protestantism,
He also failed to cite that a fundamental of the movement is the belief that every word of the Bible, in its English (KJV?) translation, is to be taken literally. Orthodox Jews by definition do not believe that the English Bible is an accurate translation of Tanakh, nor do we believe that every word to Tanakh is to be taken literally. We believe that a certain amount is idiom (e.g. "cut off her hand" = decrease her power = impose a monetary fine), ellipsis (e.g. "eye under/in place of and eye" = value of an eye as monetary compensation for loss of an eye), or allegory (e.g. much of the prophets), and that the only way to properly understand which is which, and what Tanakh means, is through the teaches of Chazal (which stands for Our Sages of Blessed Memory), who learned it orally in an unbroken chain from teacher to pupil, starting with Moshe Rabbeinu, who learned it directly from G-d during the 40 days that he spent on Sinai. One may agree or disagree with our belief or with the interpreation of Chazal, but anyone who rejects this belief in the Oral Torah, including the belief that Chazal got it right, is, by definition, not an Orthodox Jew. And anyone who says Orthodox Jews don't believe this is an arrogant fool.

I have already come dangerously close to disappointing JBG by responsding to him. Fortunately his remarks about the inerrancy of Abe Foxman, Mr. Foxman's ex cathedra appointment as the sole arbiter of anti-semitism, and JBG's assumption that I am relying on "internet commenters" about Wright rather than forming my own judgments after reading the good reverend's remarks, are all too silly to merit a further waste of my time.
9.17.2009 9:35am
Seamus (mail):

When you mockingly talk about concerns on the part of American Jews that they may one day have to look to Israel for refuge because of pograms here, I have little patience for whatever it is you are trying to say or intimate ("dual citizenship").



What you call mocking was my serious effort to make sense out of what you were saying. Since I now see that you don't really make a bright-line distinction between self-interest and altruism, but see some kind of continuum between actions that benefit yourself, to those that benefit your relatives (but not you personally), to those that benefit those who share your ethnicity (but not you personally), to humanity in general (but not necessarily you personally), your meaning is a lot clearer. Apparently you saw something sinister in my initial effort to point out a distinction between altruistic behavior (even if directed toward people of shared ethnicity) and self-interested behavior. Maybe you don't see that distinction as valid, but that really doesn't explain your dark mutterings about "how could we have such a thread without a contribution like this one from Seamus."


Seamus, my children are in their majority, so I have no obligation to support them financially, and I don't depend on them for financial support. So if I care about that which affects their lives but not mine, then we are talking "altruism" rather than my "self-interest"? I would call it the latter, but if you think it the former for sociobiologic or whatever reasons, I see no point in arguing it.


For one who sees no point in arguing it, you've spent an awful lot of time doing exactly that.

The reference to "dual citizenship" should have been clear: unless an American Jew holds citizenship in Israel (or intends to live in Israel) as well as the United States, the welfare of Israel doesn't directly benefit him. It is an act of altruism, as I understand that term.


I have tried to distinguish for you the collective experiences and memories of Cuban Americans from those of Jewish American, and suggested "Klal Yisrael" as a basis for understanding, but you just don't get it.


Your link to the Wikipedia article on Klal Yisrael was interesting enough, but did nothing to address the question of whether "a sense of shared community and destiny among all Jews" is properly described as self-interested behavior. I understand that the "collective experiences and memoies of Cuban Ameicans" are diferent from those of Jewish Americans; what I need is some explanation of how that makes Jewish Americans' support for Israel an act of self-interest in ways that Cuban American support for the embargo is not. Is it because Jewish Americans believe that any harm that comes to Jews in Israel makes it more likely that harm will come to Jews in America? If so, then please say so, instead of making me run all over Robin Hood's barn trying to read between your lines. I may be stupid, but I'm capable of understanding things that are actually explained to me.
9.17.2009 11:21am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
neuro:

in reply to those who would still accuse Wright of antisemitism, you say, "He (Wright) apologized. I accept the apology. Let us know if you can demonstrate that Foxman didn't." What about Wright's subsequent complaint that "Jews" were responsible for the rupture in his relationship with Obama?


You're confused about many things, such as the chronology of the events you're discussing. There was no "complaint … subsequent" to Wright's apology. What do you think the apology was for? It was for the "complaint" that you've called "subsequent."

After that Wright blast, the ADL said in a press release dated 6/11/09 …


Yes, we already know what ADL said on 6/11/09. What you seem to not realize is that Wright apologized on 6/12/09. Which is why I asked you if you have some reason to believe that ADL and/or Foxman did not accept Wright's apology.

If someone makes statements that "express classic antisemitism in its most vile form" can they be seen as antisemites?


If they don't apologize, yes.

The 2007 and 2008 Foxman/ADL statements serve to exonerate Wright, but the 2009 ADL judgment does not deserve the same weight?


The 2009 ADL judgment serves to incriminate Wright (even though Wright subsequently apologized, and the apology was apparently accepted), but the 2007 and 2008 Foxman/ADL statements do not deserve the same weight? If Wright is so obviously an antisemite, and has been for such a long time, then why did Foxman ever say he saw no signs of antisemitism?

And you're making it clear that you are inclined to gloss over multiple indications of GOP antisemitism.

======================
just the facts:

I am sorry that you misinterpreted my first paragraph to indicate that each survey on the list produced all of the findings.


I'm sorry you wrote a sentence which claimed that each survey on the list produced both of the findings you described.

as those other two papers found


"Two?" You mentioned three other papers. Why have you suddenly forgotten about Dunbar? Who is he?

In a series of web postings, Malhotra said that the party result was robust to demographic controls such as race and education.


Their assertions were discussed in a prior thread, and they do "not constitute a citable, backed-up finding."

======================
nieporent:

in that prior thread, it was explained why you didn't understand what you were talking about


Naturally. I especially liked the part where you inadvertently helped demonstrate that Bernstein's claim about anti-Semitic Democrats was refuted by an ADL study cited by Bernstein himself.

And the only thing more fun than noticing that was noticing the way you disappeared once this was explained. Not a surprise, since disappearing once you've been proven wrong is your usual pattern (proof, more proof).

======================
yankev:

anyone who rejects this belief in the Oral Torah, including the belief that Chazal got it right, is, by definition, not an Orthodox Jew


Indeed. And there is nothing about the concept of "belief in the Oral Torah" which is incongruent with the ordinary use of the word fundamentalism. On the contrary. Because the Oral Torah is indeed the embodiment of "fundamental principles." The fact that it is Oral does not change that. "Fundamentalism" is not defined as 'literal interpretation of the written Bible' (although that's an example of a belief held by certain flavors of fundamentalists).

So you still have not explained why it's wrong to describe Orthodox Jews as fundamentalists.

Foxman's ex cathedra appointment as the sole arbiter of anti-semitism


If you can name someone who should be considered more trustworthy on the subject, I'm all ears.

JBG's assumption that I am relying on "internet commenters" about Wright rather than forming my own judgments


That's not what I meant when I said "internet commenters." That phrase was not a reference to someone on whom you rely. It was a reference to you.
9.17.2009 12:22pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
Not that this is a be-all, end-all answer to the question, but ironically (or maybe coincidentally), Salon has a new piece up noting that the Family Research Council is holding its annual "Values Voter Summit" in Washington this weekend. If you're Jewish, you could see the problem.
9.17.2009 1:28pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
If someone makes statements that "express classic antisemitism in its most vile form" can they be seen as antisemites?

If they don't apologize, yes.
What on earth does one have to do with the other? How does an apology for an anti-semitic statement mean that the speaker isn't an anti-semite?
9.17.2009 3:03pm
yankev (mail):

What on earth does one have to do with the other? How does an apology for an anti-semitic statement mean that the speaker isn't an anti-semite?
I am am so sorry that anyone misinterpreted my remarks as being anti-semitic when I said that Jews/Zionists:

- murdered Our Lord.
- descrated the host.
- control the world banking system.
- are behind the communist threat.
- manipulate the economy.
- caused the economy to crash.
- murder Christians/Arabs for their blood.
- are cheap.
- manipulate the US/other host countries/the world into wars for their own benefit (heard back at least as far as WWI, recently recycled for Iraq Wars I and II).
- are clannish.
- push themselves in where they aren't wanted.
- are responsible for the African slave trade in the US.
- run international crime, prostitution and drugs.
- use smears and intimidation to silence anyone who exposes them.
- teach pedophilia, fraud and xenophobia.
- are disloyal citizens.
- are all rich.
- poison wells.
- caused the Black Death/aids/distribute gum to Arabs that makes them sex maniacs/sterile.
- are working on an ethnic bomb.

Yes, an apology makes it all better. After all, he's not an anti-semite for believing it, or thinking it's plausible, or thinking everyone else naturally believes it too; he's only an anti-semite if he says it when we can hear him and fails to apologize afterward.
9.17.2009 4:08pm
yankev (mail):

That's not what I meant when I said "internet commenters." That phrase was not a reference to someone on whom you rely. It was a reference to you.
IOW, jbg thinks I should abandon my own conclusions about Rev. Wright because -- jbg claims -- Abe Foxman drew a different conclusion. Anyone else here remember the name for that fallacy? Appeal to something or other.
9.17.2009 4:12pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

How does an apology for an anti-semitic statement mean that the speaker isn't an anti-semite?


If your proof that someone is an antisemite consists of a statement that the person has withdrawn, you don't have much proof. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone says things they didn't mean. The difference is that some people take responsibility for their mistakes, and some others don't.

===================
yankev:

he's only an anti-semite if he says it when we can hear him


You seem to be suggesting that Wright said all those things you listed, but that he did not say them "when we can hear him." But if he did not say those things "when we can hear him," how do you know he said them? Where is your proof that he said the things you listed?

jbg thinks I should abandon my own conclusions about Rev. Wright because -- jbg claims -- Abe Foxman drew a different conclusion


You're still misinterpreting what I said. It's not that you should abandon your own conclusions because they are different from Foxman's conclusions. It's that it would be irrational for anyone to take your conclusions seriously unless you can show that your knowledge and/or judgment is superior to his. And you've been doing a nice job of proving the opposite of that.

By the way, Foxman's conclusion is not just something I 'claimed.' It's something I proved by quoting him.
9.17.2009 5:38pm
yankev (mail):

Where is your proof that he said the things you listed?
Didn't mean to imply that he had said all or even most of them; they were simply examples of anti-semitic views that have been commonly held at one time or another. Wright has expressed a few of them, and has printed some others in his Church newsletter, but my list should not be read as an attribution to him. In case that was too subtle for anyone else beside you, I am replying.

Holding anti-semitic views is not a "mistake." Expressing them is a mistake. Expressing them and then issuing a "clarification" that contains equally repugnant views is not an apology.

It's that it would be irrational for anyone to take your conclusions seriously unless you can show that your knowledge and/or judgment is superior to his. And you've been doing a nice job of proving the opposite of that.
9.17.2009 6:07pm
yankev (mail):
Clicked POST prematurely again.

It's that it would be irrational for anyone to take your conclusions seriously unless you can show that your knowledge and/or judgment is superior to his.
But I am simply asking people to draw their own conclusions, not to accept mine. You are asking them to surrender all judgment to Foxman, and to assume that you are accurately quoting Foxman.

And you've been doing a nice job of proving the opposite of that.
The old jukebox one-two -- if you can't persuade, revert to insults.
9.17.2009 6:34pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yankev:

they were simply examples of anti-semitic views that have been commonly held at one time or another


I thought we were discussing Wright. I don't see the relevance "of anti-semitic views that have been commonly held at one time or another" by persons other than Wright.

Wright has expressed a few of them, and has printed some others in his Church newsletter


Unless you're willing to be specific and show citations, your claims are worth roughly as much as the recycled electrons of which they are made.

issuing a "clarification" that contains equally repugnant views is not an apology.


The apology is here. It fits the normal definition of the word "apology," and there's nothing repugnant about it.

You are asking them to surrender all judgment to Foxman


Uh, no. I am simply pointing out that Foxman's opinion is different than yours.

and to assume that you are accurately quoting Foxman.


If you are in a position to show that I am not "accurately quoting Foxman," I don't know what you're waiting for. There's no time like the present.
9.17.2009 7:11pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
yankev:

How does an apology for an anti-semitic statement mean that the speaker isn't an anti-semite?

I am am so sorry that anyone misinterpreted my remarks as being anti-semitic when I said that Jews/Zionists:

- murdered Our Lord.

I doubt a single marriage would survive if our only true feelings were depicted by our ugliest remarks. We're capable of honestly retracting things we honestly believed when we said them in heated moments. We're also capable of abandoning old beliefs as we learn better.

I remember when the greatest physical threat to a Jewish school kid in New York was from Catholics. That's so far from today's reality it's truly a distant memory. And I attribute most of that change to Vatican II, however imperfect its exculpation of Jews. (It's why I consider John XXIII, not John-Paul II, the greatest Pope during my lifetime.)

Yes, some people lie. But a person should be taken at his word unless there's more evidence of his dishonesty than merely that some people lie.
9.17.2009 7:16pm
Just the Facts:
JukeBox -

We seem to be talking on circles about your misrepresentation of my claims as saying something that I explicitly stated I never intended. When it comes down to it, this has nothing to do with the argument.

Dunbar was a paper in a Psych journal comparing various measures of various prejudices using White and Asian samples, in order to test their validity among people of different races. One incidental finding was that the Asian sample was about twice as anti-Semitic as the White one. I didn't mention it an additional time since you weren't disputing the matter of the correlation between race and anti-Semitism.

Malhotra and Margalit are top shelf social scientists and don't have skin in this game. If they say its robust to those things, I trust that it is. Restricting the conversation to peer-reviewed journal articles is overly-strict. In fact, even social scientists often cite unpublished works by legit professors in published works. Furthermore, even if it is not correct that those results are robust to demographics, I have explained unchallenged that doing so is unnecessary, and even if they are wrong (which I doubt) that Democrats have a higher incidence of A-S, I only need a non-correlation for my argument to be correct.

Now to the next thread...
9.18.2009 11:13am
Just the Facts:
JukeBox -

We seem to be talking on circles about your misrepresentation of my claims as saying something that I explicitly stated I never intended. When it comes down to it, this has nothing to do with the argument.

Dunbar was a paper in a Psych journal comparing various measures of various prejudices using White and Asian samples, in order to test their validity among people of different races. One incidental finding was that the Asian sample was about twice as anti-Semitic as the White one. I didn't mention it an additional time since you weren't disputing the matter of the correlation between race and anti-Semitism.

Malhotra and Margalit are top shelf social scientists and don't have skin in this game. If they say its robust to those things, I trust that it is. Restricting the conversation to peer-reviewed journal articles is overly-strict. In fact, even social scientists often cite unpublished works by legit professors in published works. Furthermore, even if it is not correct that those results are robust to demographics, I have explained unchallenged that doing so is unnecessary, and even if they are wrong (which I doubt) that Democrats have a higher incidence of A-S, I only need a non-correlation for my argument to be correct.

Now to the next thread...
9.18.2009 11:13am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
If they say its robust to those things, I trust that it is.


Gee, that's funny. Because recently you suggested that it's wrong to accept claims that are "not backed up by any actual evidence beyond assertion." The consistency is charming.
9.18.2009 11:43am
yankev (mail):
Jbg posted a link to Wright's supposed "apology" as reported by the SF Chronicle on 6-12-2009. The Chicago Sun-Times of 6-11-2009 reported the same story but included a radio transcript of radio interview where the apology is made. The SF Chronicle version does not report the following:


MARK THOMPSON: Of course people are keying in, Dr. Wright, on the statements you made regarding Jews.


REV. WRIGHT: Well let me say…I misspoke. Let me just say, Zionists.

Later in the interview:

MARK THOMPSON: …I want everybody to be clear that when you say… “them Jews won’t let him talk to me” you were specifically referring to Zionists.

REV. WRIGHT: Exactly.


Some apology. I'm sorry I said kike when I really meant sheeny.

Also, JBG says the apology proves Wright is not an anti-Semite, and backs it with the supposed approval of Abe Foxman. Yet the official reaction of the ADL as reported by the 6-11-2009 Sun Times said:“

I apologize for the way I framed my comments. I misspoke and I sincerely meant no harm or ill-will to the American Jewish community or the Obama administration,” Wright said. “I have great respect for the Jewish faith and the foundational (and central) part of our Judeo-Christian tradition.”


But Lonnie Nasatir of the Anti-Defamation League's Chicago office said Wright was expressing "classic anti-Semitism."


On another topic, I admit my misunderstanding of Christian Fundamentalism. I was taught in high school that it was based on Biblical literalism, but jbg was correct and that is one of many forms it can take; Biblican literalism apparently is not a sine qua non.
9.18.2009 4:18pm
yankev (mail):

I doubt a single marriage would survive if our only true feelings were depicted by our ugliest remarks. We're capable of honestly retracting things we honestly believed when we said them in heated moments. We're also capable of abandoning old beliefs as we learn better.
agreed. But those are made when we are angry at a loved one. What does it say if someone who has never shwon any love for you makes ugly remarksis because he is angry with you for something you had nothing to do with? "Them Jews" -- and certainly "those Zionists" no more kept Wright away from Obama than they spread the Black Death by poisoning wells. What does it tell you that he believes they did?

I remember when the greatest physical threat to a Jewish school kid in New York was from Catholics. That's so far from today's reality it's truly a distant memory. And I attribute most of that change to Vatican II, however imperfect its exculpation of Jews. (It's why I consider John XXIII, not John-Paul II, the greatest Pope during my lifetime.)

I had similar experiences in Chicago at about the same time and I tend to agree. It has nothing to do with whether I think Wright was saying ugly things to a loved one in a moment of anger (I don't) or revealing the way he really thinks at a time he thought it was safe. His friends, associations and writings give me every reason to believe the latter. And his "apology" was made in the same context as his excuse that he misspoke, meaning to say Zionists instead of Jews.

If your hypothetical Catholic school neighbor, after ganging up on you with his buddies, told you the next day "Hey, sheeney, I'm sorry a called you a Christ Killer; I meant to say yid," I doubt you'd be appeased.

Gotta go now. Kasiva v'chasima tovah.
9.18.2009 4:31pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yankev:

I'm sorry I said kike when I really meant sheeny.


You seem to be claiming that 'Jew' and 'Zionist' are synonyms. Which means that any criticism of Israel is a criticism of Jews. It's helpful to know that you feel this way. Few people who feel this way are willing to admit it.

JBG says the apology proves Wright is not an anti-Semite, and backs it with the supposed approval of Abe Foxman. Yet the official reaction of the ADL as reported by the 6-11-2009 Sun Times said


I already explained this to neuro, so you have no excuse to be confused. You are claiming that ADL issued a "reaction" to Wright's apology. Wrong. They did not. They issued a reaction to Wright's original statement. If you can find evidence the ADL ever said anything subsequent to Wright's apology, please share it with us. In the absence of a statement subsequent to Wright's apology, there is no reason to assume that ADL rejected Wright's apology.

The article you cited is here. The ADL statement is here. Wright's apology is here. Do you notice what those three items have in common? They are all dated 6/11/09. ADL's statement of 6/11/09 was not a reaction to something Wright said on 6/11/09. It was a reaction to something Wright said on 6/10.

Wright's apology was first reported on 6/11 at about 3 pm (you can check memeorandum and see that it was first mentioned after that time). If the ADL statement you called a "reaction" to Wright's apology was actually a reaction to Wright's apology, it would not have been dated 6/11. We would not have seen it until 6/12. And it also would have mentioned Wright's apology. It did not.

Getting your facts straight would be a good start.

I admit my misunderstanding of Christian Fundamentalism. I was taught in high school that it was based on Biblical literalism, but jbg was correct and that is one of many forms it can take; Biblican literalism apparently is not a sine qua non.


Thank you for this statement, but it really doesn't go far enough. It's not just that "Christian Fundamentalism" takes various forms. It's that fundamentalism takes many forms. You objected when I pointed out that Orthodox Judaism is a form of fundamentalism, but you never demonstrated any basis for your objection.

certainly "those Zionists" no more kept Wright away from Obama than they spread the Black Death by poisoning wells


Really? How do you know? You're simply not in a position to know what correct or incorrect information Wright might have to cause him to believe (correctly or incorrectly) that actual Zionists took actual steps to actually keep him away from Obama.

What does it tell you that he believes they did?


What does it tell us that you claim to know things you don't actually know? What does it tell us that you claimed to cite ADL's "reaction" to Wright's apology when the thing you cited is not a reaction to Wright's apology?
9.18.2009 5:15pm
yankev (mail):

You seem to be claiming that 'Jew' and 'Zionist' are synonyms.
Martin Luther King, Jr. thought so too.

We must inform you that “Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend” (see at bottom of alert), allegedly written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is apparently a hoax, although the basic message of the letter was indeed, without question, spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. in a 1968 appearance at Harvard, where he said: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.”




Which means that any criticism of Israel is a criticism of Jews.
That is absurd. Oren,for one, is a Zionist, and criticises Israel with some frequency. Plenty of Zionists criticise Israel. But it does mean that blanket statements of the Zionists control this or the Zionists control that or the Zionists are behind XY and Z are generally anti-Semitic. Again, see MLK's remarks on the subject.


Few people who feel this way are willing to admit it.
That when people may broad, ridiculous statements about "Zionists" over things having nothing to do with Israel or Zionism, they are using Zionist as a code word for Jew? No, most people who feel that way freely admit it. Few people who criticize Zionistts, though, admit that they mean Jews.

Or do you mean that I think any criticism of Israel is anti-semitism? I do not feel that way and I suspect that the people who actually do are far outnumbered by people who make that charge in order to preemptively defuse any criticism of anti-semitic remarks disguised as criticsm of Israel.
9.18.2009 5:36pm
yankev (mail):

Really? How do you know? You're simply not in a position to know what correct or incorrect information Wright might have to cause him to believe (correctly or incorrectly) that actual Zionists took actual steps to actually keep him away from Obama.
Okay, that question tells us a lot. I am also not in a position to know that no Jew ever poisoned a well or killed a Christian for his blood. Silly me, I thought the burden of proof was on the person who makes those charges.

I am done with you, sir -- not that I will never again respond to your posts when they seem too absurd to ignore, but in terms that will be understood by others who have engaged in the futility of discussion with you. As far as I am concenred, you are no different than those who believe blood libel, you simply live in a different part of the world.
9.18.2009 5:41pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yankev:

Martin Luther King, Jr. thought so too.


The authenticity of that statement is questionable.

Plenty of Zionists criticise Israel.


Indeed. So what? There is nothing wrong with Zionists criticizing Israel, just like there's nothing wrong with non-Zionists criticizing Zionists. In common usage, "Zionist" just means 'a supporter of Israel.' Everyone realizes there are Christian Zionists, and surely you know that not all Jews are Zionists. Criticizing Zionists is not the same thing as criticizing Jews.

I thought the burden of proof was on the person who makes those charges.


Your statement about the burden of proof would be relevant if I was claiming that Wright's statement was correct (that Zionists were getting between him and Obama). But I'm not. I'm only pointing out that the statement might be correct (or that Wright might have sincerely thought the statement was correct), which means you're not in a position to claim that the statement is proof of antisemitism.

It's true that antisemites have used the word "Zionist" as a code word for "Jew," but this fact does not demonstrate that everyone who uses the word is using it in that manner.

And speaking of "burden of proof," that burden is on you, to justify your allegation of antisemitism. And as we have seen, you cannot meet that burden. Instead, you make various unwarranted assumptions, and present a bogus chronology. And the fact that you haven't acknowledged your bogus chronology tells us a lot.

I am done with you


You keep saying that.

not that I will never again respond to your posts


In other words, you're done with me, except when you're not. Makes perfect sense.
9.18.2009 7:23pm
George Hamm (mail):
One of the amusing things about Jewish politics is the frequently expressed claim that Jewish voters look out for the poor and powerless. A more accurate statement would be that a great many Jews ally themselves with non-white non-Christians not because of sympathy, but because they want an ally in their struggle against the hated white Christians. The 1965 Immigration Act, which opened up America to large-scale nonwhite immigration for the first time, was spearheaded by Jews and their drunken dupe Ted Kennedy. Was it due to altruism or political self-interest? I think the answer is pretty clear, and MacDonald has a good summary of this issue. Huge numbers of Jews act in an ethnocentric, racially conscious matter ever day, yet fly into a self-righteous rage if non-Jewish whites do the same. Worrying about declining Jewish demographics is fine if you're Jewish. Worrying about declining white demographics if you're white = bigotry. Pride in being Jewish = wonderful. Pride in being white = Nazi. A country only for Jews? Wonderful. A country only for whites? Evil racist. Hundreds of Jewish groups (racial, not religious ones) advocating Jewish interests? Outstanding. Any open discussion of white interests by the white majority? Never, that would be hateful.

Of course, the trump card is "we Jews have been treated so horribly over the years, so we get to operate under a different set of rules." The easy counter: maybe they should ask which came first, Jewish arrogance or mistreatment of Jews. As Churchill said, maybe Jews should start examining their behavior and ask why they are hated everywhere they go (other than where they wield tremendous influence, i.e., Israel and America).

The funny thing about Jewish hatred of rural, Christian whites is that those rubes are so philo-semitic it's sickening. Jews are in for a rude- albeit well-deserved- awakening as Arabs, blacks, and Hispanics gain political power. If they think Christians trying to convert them to get them to heaven is anti-semitism, I chuckle to think what their reaction will be when they get a taste of black anti-semitism.
9.19.2009 5:47am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Hundreds of Jewish groups (racial, not religious ones) advocating Jewish interests


Since conversion to Judaism has nothing to do with race, and since (consequently) there are Jews in every race, could you please identify for us those hundreds of "racial" groups you're talking about? Where are they hidden?

Huge numbers of Jews act in an ethnocentric, racially conscious matter ever day


Since Jews come in every race, could you please help us understand more about the 'racial' consciousness of Judaism? Are you sure you're not projecting your own racial consciousness?

Worrying about declining white demographics… Pride in being white … A country only for whites … discussion of white interests by the white majority … Jews are in for a rude- albeit well-deserved- awakening … maybe Jews should start examining their behavior and ask why they are hated everywhere they go


I think the web site you're actually looking for is here.
9.19.2009 10:18am
Leo Marvin (mail):
George Hamm,

If and when you vote for a candidate from one of the two major parties, which party does it tend to be?
9.19.2009 5:46pm

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