Bradley Burson, writing in Ha-Aretz about what was intended as an anti-J Street propaganda flick, makes a point I hadn’t seen articulated before. The right-wing Jewish leadership, which routinely attacks Jews who vote Democratic or fail to hew to the Netanyahu party line as “self-hating” or “anti-Semitic,” speaks only for a small (though powerful and wealthy) minority of the community. That minority, when it expresses its intense hatred and contempt for those of us who disagree with them, is saying to the majority of American Jews, “You’re stupid. We hate you.”
So: which camp can fairly be described as hating Jews? J Street, or Sheldon Adelson and his friends?
At times it has seemed to me that the Anti-Defamation League has leaned too heavily toward the Adelson side of the divide. So I was delighted to see a blast email from Abraham Foxman asking me to sign an ADL petition to Congress in support of the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2014.
Of course a Republican Party that controls the House of Representatives and depends on voter suppression to maintain its power in the face of changing demographics would never allow that bill to come to a vote, even with a giant such as Jim Sensenbrenner as the bill’s chief sponsor (for which act of party disloyalty he is being slimed by the unspeakably dishonest James O’Keefe, with the slime republished in the National Review), which has long favored the suppression of minority votes.
So it’s unlikely that the ADL’s call will lead to actual legislation. Still, it’s good to see the ADL recalling its glory days as one of the wheelhorses of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Winning isn’t everything; there’s something to be said for being on the right side, even in a losing cause. Ten Just Men, and all that. It’s in the Torah; you could look it up.