Why Are Jews Liberal?

Here are some highlights from a 2005 column by Dennis Prager:

* …Jews (outside of Israel) are indeed overwhelmingly liberal and disproportionately left of liberal as well.
* Most Jews are frightened by anything that connotes right-wing—such as the words “right-wing” and “conservative.”
* Liberal Jews fear most religion. They identify religion—especially fundamentalist religion and especially Christianity—with anti-Semitism.
* Despite their secularism, Jews may be the most religious ethnic group in the world. The problem is that their religion is rarely Judaism; rather it is every “ism” of the Left. These include liberalism, socialism, feminism, Marxism and environmentalism. Jews involved in these movements believe in them with the same ideological fervor and same suspension of critical reason with which many religious people believe in their religion.
* The Jews’ religious fervor emanates from the origins of the Jewish people as a religious people elected by God to help guide humanity to a better future. Of course, the original intent was to bring humanity to ethical monotheism, God-based universal moral standards, not to secular liberalism or to feminism or to socialism. Leftist Jews have simply secularized their religious calling.
* Liberal Jews fear nationalism. The birth of nationalism in Europe planted the secular seeds of the Holocaust (religious seeds had been planted by some early and medieval Church teachings and reinforced by Martin Luther). European nationalists welcomed all national identities except the Jews’. That is a major reason so many Jews identify primarily as “world citizens”; they have contempt for nationalism and believe that strong national identities, even in America, will exclude them.

Lawrence Auster, a Jew who converted to Christianity in adulthood, wrote:

So, according to Prager, Jews are overwhelmingly left-liberal, and they are devoted to leftism as to a religion. Further, these liberal-left Jews, comprising the overwhelming majority of Jews, are “frightened” of conservatism, they “fear” most religion, they identify religion and especially Christianity with anti-Semitism, and they “fear” nationalism, seeing it as the source of the Holocaust.
I have never written or even imagined such a sweeping criticism of Jews. My approach has always been, let’s look at the Jewish tendencies to leftism and anti-nationalism as correctable behaviors. If the American majority started to act like the “adult” again, the Jews, the “angry adolescent” in this scenario, would shape up, since the Jews are at bottom rational people and members of Western civilization.

But in Prager’s portrait, the Jewish problem is more deeply entrenched. As Prager describes it, the overwhelming majority of Jews oppose, fear, and regard as evil everything that our society is based on: conservative values, free enterprise, religion, Christianity, even nationhood itself, and they are compelled to these anti-American views by what they see as their religion.

If Prager is correct, how should the rest of the American community regard and respond to Jews? I repeat my conviction that if other Americans began in a civilized but firm way to criticize these Jewish dispositions, that would force the Jews to pull back from their aggressive leftism. If the majority culture restored itself and its moral authority, then Jews would again become good members of it, as they had been prior to the shattering of the majority culture in the Sixties Revolution. Yet at the same time, honesty compels me to acknowledge that Prager’s article makes the problem of Jewish leftism seem more threatening, and harder to solve, than ever before.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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