September 2009


In looking at the letters defending Jon Voight’s rebuttle of Marty Kaplan’s highly insensitive and somewhat ignorant language  used in his article “I Want to Know What Happens Next,”, I am heartened by the fact that the Jewish Journal chose to print so many supportive defenses against what we conservative Jews sometimes feel is a loosing battle against the Jewish democratic left. I would like to see a more balanced approach in the Journal on politics than we have seen over the last ten, twelve years. A couple of things are in order here for this to be realized and to set the record straight.

To read Kaplan’s article click here 

First, failing to recognize the support that we Jews receive from the non Jewish right in all matters, especially those that concern Israel and its policies, is a failure for all of us, not just liberal democrats. Furthermore, it leads to statements that go beyond blurring the lines of moral equivalence like Kaplan’s statement comparing Sara Palin with Achmadinijad.  Only a return to showing both sides of issues will give our community a more educated view on how to assess who our friends are, and who are not.

Second, and maybe a bit more involved, I believe that a discussion is in order as to why Professor Kaplan would make such a statement and the editors of the Jewish Journal would allow it to be printed for the public to read and become outraged. But, let me clarify, this isn’t about Marty Kaplan and the Jewish Journal. They are only symptoms of a much larger problem. This never would have happened if there wasn’t a support base in the community that would also accept it.

At present too many Jews are repulsed and slightly confused by right wing thinking, the Republican Party, conservative  support for Israel, and the non Jewish  right’s standing with the Jewish people’s struggle against Islamic terror, juxtaposed by their own political allies on the left who seem exactly opposite.

I don’t know for sure but I would bet that Professor Kaplan eats lunch and socializes with other left wing non-Jewish professors who talk of a weakened Israel as the first step to forcing that country into oblivion as the only means for peace. Kaplan and other Jewish professors are hard pressed to find a way to justify this behavior in their midst so as not to be ostracized in their own academic community. They are thinking more of their own measly careers and the next appointment that will further their influence as a scholar. They can only do that by keeping their mouths shut and accepting the status quo on the Middle East, the degradation of the Jewish State. If that is where Professor Kaplan reached for this simply disgusting statement, then he should take stock, turn it around and begin to defend his people where ever and when ever they are maligned.

This phenomenon is not exclusive to the university setting. In all intellectual and artistic industries, fine  arts, sciences, media, the Jewish flirtation with left wing politics as a substitute for practicing Judaism, complicated by a 20th century history in which the two greatest purveyors of anti-Semitism , Christianity and Euro fascist politics have left an indelible imprint on the Jewish psyche.

If only the Communists had taken over Germany instead of the National Socialists, there might not have been a Holocaust. The nightmare would have passed as a bad dream.  We might be looking at a completely different world today.

But, we’re not. We are living in the world our liberal parents and grandparents made for us. Consequently, liberal Jews today are clinging hard to the hijacked left winged Democratic Party, too collectively frightened to break with their parent’s past and reach out to a world where evil is are not blurred between the lines of politics. The Jewish Journal reflects that sentiment in its pages on a weekly basis as evidenced most recently by not editing Kaplan’s statement.

The problem is the confusion this causes. How do you explain as some of the letters indicated why Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, former President Bush and for good measure let’s throw in Sara Palin are staunch supporters of Israel and the Jewish people? Those are four of the most demonized names on the democratic and heavily Jewish left.

Name four left wing non-Jews who are supportive of Israel’s right to exist and who condemn the Hamas terrorists for their actions against innocent civilians. You can’t. Because I don’t believe there is even one prominent left wing thinker or politician in America today that will do that. There are plenty who pay lip service to it, but none who will back that up with concrete support and state it unequivocally. That is why most of the Israel bashing, Jewish hatred, and unadulterated anti-Semitism today comes from the left wing of the democratic party, not from the right.

Los Angeles possesses the third largest Jewish community in the world behind New York and Tel Aviv. The Jewish Journal as the primary media organ for the Los Angeles Jewish community can take an important lead in this change.  I urge the Journal to reach out to these other voices, hire writers who will reflect this 21st century viewpoint, give both political sides a chance, and never again go blind folded into  the wide democratic Jewish support for issues that hurt us rather than help us. No more Marty Kaplan statements. Continue to print the Left wing view if you want but just give us the other side so we can make an independent, educated, democratic choice, on any given concern. Consider how an issue will affect us as a community, as a Jewish world, in Israel, in North America, and everywhere.

The time has come for all of us Jews to reassess our own political history. Do we want to continue to snuggle up to those who will destroy us? The Left in the 21st century is no different than the right in the 20th. Left unchecked it will continue to move toward more viscous attacks on Israel,  on Jews, on the Jewish religion and on all of us. We need to put our faith in those who have proven that they are our friends and allies in all matters political.

Not to do this will continue to choke our culture, intimidate us to see Israel at fault, and tempt us with universal acceptance if we just leave that Jewish/Zionist world behind.  No longer can Jews protect themselves as our fathers did by siding with the left of center philosophy. Our future and our safety has now shifted to the right of center and we need to recognize that and embrace it. The Red Sea has been parted; all we have to do is cross it.



Jewish community examiner

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