Friday, May 13, 2011

Fantasizing About Fleeing the Front


Here's a thought exercise. Let's say U.S. Jews abandon the conservative AIPAC and the centrist J Street. Instead, they all begin to identify with radical left Jewish organizations, such as JVP or IJAN.
Subsequently, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations asks for a meeting with President Obama and Congressional leaders. Abe Foxman of the ADL urges the US Administration to pay heed to the group. At the meeting, the Jewish leaders declare that they want the US to withhold all military aid from the State of Israel until Israel brings justice to its Palestinian population.
Rabbis and Jewish academics declare that to be Jewish is to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and other dispossessed people. The campaign against Iran is denounced as a distraction. President Obama issues a stern warning, cautioning Prime Minister Netanyahu from building any more Jewish homes on the West Bank. Congressional leaders refuse to meet Netayahu until he publicly commits to lift the siege on Gaza, release Palestinian prisoners in return for Gilad Shalit and commits not to attack Gaza again.
Israeli and Palestinian activists in groups such as Ta'ayush, Anarchists Against the Wall and the Sheikh Jarrah rallies tour the United States speaking at rallies and in synagogues.
The Jewish community meet every year at the Annual Peace and Justice Rally, marching alongside Palestinian leaders.

What would happen then in the United States? Would non-Jewish Americans rally to the Jewish community (with the likely exception of Christian Fundamentalists). The Israeli government is forced to re-visit its discriminatory policies. Palestinians are granted full civil rights under Israeli law.

I hope that's how it would happen.

But something else could happen. If Jews pulled out of the Middle East conflict and were perceived as standing in solidarity with Muslims (in the public eye, that also includes non-Western Christians), I wonder if the magical, privileged status of U.S. Jews would evaporate. Are American Jews just serving a secularized Christian agenda? Jews are the face of Christian America's battle in the Middle East.

Even if this were not the case. Jews' fear of losing their privileged status will, in itself, prevent this scenario from ever materializing.
Once Jews stop serving the Christians in the Christian-Muslim class of civilizations, what will our role in society be? Will Christians turn on the Jewish community if Jews befriend Muslims?

End of daydream.

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