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The primary mission of rabbis, after all, is to repair the Jewish world first—to criticize first those fellow Jews who trivialize the suffering of the Jewish people. Why then did these rabbis ignore Jewish sinners and limit their criticism to two non-Jews?
It is no answer to argue, as I’m sure the rabbis will, that Beck and Ailes are important media figures, far more influential than Jews like Lerner, Woskow, Finkelstein, Atzmon and Cohen. First, that is a dubious proposition, especially when it comes to young people on college campuses throughout the world today. Jews who misuse their ethnic credibility to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of future leaders are, tragically, quite influential on college campuses. Second, rabbis simply cannot ignore Jewish sinners who misuse their Jewishness to justify their invocation of Nazi images as battering rams against the Jewish state.
Analogies are often appropriate in public discourse. We use the terms McCarthyism and Witch Hunt without criticism (I myself wrote a book about the Bill Clinton scandal entitled Sexual McCarthyism), but Holocaust metaphors should be used sparingly and never, ever with regard to Israel. Any such comparison is obscene, ahistorical, anti-Semitic and despicable.
It is time to declare a general moratorium on the use of Nazi and Holocaust images both by the left and the right and by Jews and non-Jews alike. Even the Wall Street Journal ad itself went too far when it explicitly stated that its political attack on Beck and Ailes was being issued “on the occasion of the United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
So here is my challenge: Let those who funded the anti-Beck-Ailes ad, fund another ad that condemns those on the left, especially Jews, who use Nazi and Holocaust images to demonize Israel. Names should be named, and statements should be quoted, just as they were in the Wall Street Journal ad. Let’s see how many of these rabbis for “justice,” actually support justice and not just use their rabbinical degrees (those who actually have them) to serve narrow political and ideological ends. The ad should then publish the names of each rabbi who signed the anti-Beck-Ailes ad but refused to sign the ad condemning Jews on the left who misuse comparable imagery. Now that would be an interesting ad, but don’t hold your breath.
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