One of the deepest disappointments in my life has been Jews’ opposition to wars against evil. I had always assumed that, as the victims of so much evil throughout history, and as heirs to the great moral teachings of the Bible and Judaism, Jews, of all people, would support fighting on behalf of victims of the greatest evils.
Take fighting Communism, for example. Along with Nazism, Communism was the most genocidal movement in human history; it actually enslaved and murdered considerably more people than Nazism. Yet, most Jews didn’t support anti-Communism in general nor anti-Communist wars in particular. Even worse, Jews were disproportionately pro-Communist. In Stalin’s time, the Yiddish press was the most pro-Communist press in the Western world. And among those in the West who gave Stalin the secrets to the atomic bomb, nearly every one was a Jew.
How could that be? How could so many people who see themselves as bearers of a great moral legacy, or who simply see themselves as highly moral, have either been supportive of the greatest mass murder machine ever devised; or, as was more often the case, opposed fighting the greatest mass murder machine ever devised?
On what moral grounds did Jews oppose supplying the South Vietnamese government with arms to help save itself from being taken over by Communist North Vietnam? Most American Jews not only opposed fighting the Communist regime of North Vietnam, they even opposed merely supplying the South Vietnamese government with military hardware so that it could defend itself when, in violation of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, North Vietnam attacked South Vietnam. And in those very same accords, America had promised to replace every South Vietnamese bullet and tank lost in defending itself.
After all, American Jews hadn’t opposed the Korean War, in which nearly 37,000 Americans and more than two million Koreans died. That war was a mirror of the Vietnam War. The southern half of the Korean peninsula — just like the southern half of Vietnam — was pro-West and anti-Communist; and the Communist North, backed by China and the Soviet Union, sought — in both Korea and Vietnam — to forcefully impose Communism on the south.
Nothing has changed today. Most American Jews vigorously supported President Barack Obama’s plan to remove all American troops from Iraq. The consequences, which everyone who opposed this plan knew would happen, were that Iraq would go from relative stability to mayhem and bloodbath. Why hasn’t this mattered to most American Jews?
Contrary to what Dennis Prager alleges, Judaism has been strangely silent about the need for Jews to lobby their non-Jewish host nations to fight wars against evil. There’s also nothing in Jewish history to suggest that this has been a historical practice of Jews.
Instead, Jews, like all other groups, push for policies that are in their self-interest.
American support for Israel is not good for America and it is not good for Israel. It was a major reason Al Qaeda attacked the US on 9/11. If America gave less foreign aid and if its military was less involved in the world and instead protected its own borders, America and the world would be better off. Israel would have more room to take care of its enemies. Win win for Israel and America. Our relationship is too close for our own good (our meaning America, Israel, Jews, the world).
Ken Kurson: “Luke, do not interpret the fact that I haven’t deleted your comment [above], unfriended you, and stalked you down and pounded the shit out of you for that stupid comment as anything other than a lifelong commitment to free speech.”
Luke: Please correct me if I am wrong, but this cartoon seems indicative of a certain type of bitter Jewish humor that goes back to the Torah ala Israelites saying they were better off in Egypt where they had leaks. Many Jews I know today say, “He’s worse than Hitler” or “This is worse than Auschwitz” as a reflex. The Ashkenazi discussion style uses a lot of vicious hyperbole. Jews are rarely criminally violent, but they are routinely verbally violent. Is this cartoon any worse than Israelis calling each other “Nazi”?