Minority Elites and Israel’s Jewish Defamers

Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of "The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege."


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A similar phenomenon can be seen in the American Jewish community. Today, polls of American Jews show them overwhelmingly sharing the concerns of the great majority of Israelis regarding the threats Israel faces from Iran, with its calls for Israel’s annihilation and its advancement towards nuclear weapons. They likewise share Israeli wariness vis-a-vis a Palestinian leadership, and Arab states, that employ their media, mosques and schools to promote genocidal anti-Semitism and its corollary demonization of Israel and exhortation to pursuit of the Jewish state’s destruction. Yet a notable portion of American Jewish elites, including elements of Jewish community leadership but more particularly numbers of those within academia, journalism and the arts, choose to downplay the threats faced by Israel, disparage anyone who emphasizes those threats, and insist that Israeli refusal to make sufficient concessions is the chief obstacle to Middle East peace. They do so not least to ingratiate themselves with and cement acceptance by those groups with which they identify and whose approval they seek.

One might wonder why Thomas Friedman has for decades written, in column after column, that Israel’s unwillingness to return essentially to its pre-1967 armistice lines is the primary cause of continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and why he has, over those decades, generally ignored or downplayed Palestinian and broader Arab rejection of Israel’s legitimacy and incessant incitement to the Jewish state’s destruction. One might be still more puzzled by his recent parroting of hoary anti-Semitic tropes, his insistence that if Congress gives a warm welcome to Israel’s prime minister and if some American leader endorses pro-Israel stances that are, in fact, widely shared among Americans, they must do so because they have been “bought and paid for” by Jewish money.

One might wonder why another Jewish journalist, Peter Beinart – even as he repeatedly declares his devotion to Israel’s well-being – either makes light of the threats Israel faces or acknowledges them only to construe them as a product of Israeli policies; why he devotes an entire book to indicting Israelis for their reluctance to make greater concessions to those who would destroy them.

Could it be that Friedman and Beinart essentially identify with Israel and, like the abused child, are primarily moved by a wish to embrace, in the face of painful circumstances, fantasies of Israeli control over those circumstances, however removed from reality such fantasies may be; that their writings are expressions of wishful delusions that Israel, by its own actions, can end its besiegement? Or are they moved primarily by a wish to distance themselves from a besieged Israel and choose to identify with groups whose members are more inclined to be detractors of the Jewish state?

It is perhaps not insignificant, as evidence of what most motivates them, that both Friedman’s columns and Beinart’s book are published by the New York Times, which for over a century has sought to distance itself from Jewish travails. The paper did so most notoriously in the 1930′s and during World War II, including burying stories on the mass murder of Europe’s Jews. And it has likewise either ignored the genocidal anti-Semitism that pervades Palestinian and broader Arab culture, as well as that of much of the wider Islamic world, or has noted others’ concerns about this Jew-hatred only to downplay or dismiss such concerns or even to ridicule them.

In understanding a Friedman or a Beinart, the more germane explanation is likely that reflected in Thurgood Marshall’s reference to the predilection of some within besieged groups to distance themselves from their group, and Marshall’s recognition that – expanding on his particular examples – this is especially common among those eager to win and maintain approval by parties not notably sympathetic to the besieged.

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  • oldtimer

    There were Jews who collaborated with the Nazi's, this is not new. They are traitors, and they should be dealt with as such.

    • oldtimer

      These types have been around since the beginning. John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil…." Acts 13:10
      "And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, will thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" These were the "Jews" who crucified Jesus.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Roman soldiers crucified Jesus the Jew.

        Today Muslims are crucifying people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fkjuliano Fabio Juliano

    There are traitors and collaborators in every human society and in every age. As mentioned in another current Frontpage article, Grover Norquist is a prime example of both in present-day America. In the case of Israel, the presence of such individuals is a little surprising to outsiders because the country is so obviously endangered and its enemies so murderously hostile.

  • PAthena

    Note that George Soros is a Jew by birth who collaborated with the Nazis ruling Hungary in 1944 when he was 14 and is still unrepentant about it. He is anti-U.S., using his billions to influence governments all over. So far as I know, he helped bring President Obama to power.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      The Occupy cult never slams Soros.

      They don't want to bite the hand that feeds them.

  • Drakken

    It is about time that Israel tells the pali savages that the next rocket or mortar fired into its territorry will result in a gloves off approach, that means push Gaza into the sea and call it a day.

  • Ghostwriter

    I'm surprised our resident anti-semites aren't here to spread their filth around like crazy.

  • Michael

    Why these suicidal scums are called "elites"They got some academic degree but degree and brain in many cases opposite each other.

  • winston

    propaganda always paints in such broad strokes… that's how you can tell its BS as opposed to reality which is actually much more complex being made up of individual events the whole of which are never either one way or the other.

    Only simpletons and racists apply particulars (traits) to the general (whole) -This blog is full of this 'us against them' language. Its all the same and that is no sweeping generalization. FPM is nothing more than a propaganda mill posing as journalism. It is designed for simple minds who seek nothing more than to reaffirm their already firmly held beliefs.

  • winston

    'It was not until Arafat, in 2000, rejected all compromise at Camp David, offered no counter-proposals'

    I believe he would have settled had Israel simply obeyed the original plan of allowing East Jerusalem to be the Pali capital and been willing to negotiate on the right of return. Israel refused both fundamental points. Israel (being a theocracy in which Jews are given preferential treatment in some ways over non-jews) was concerned (the right and just thing be damned) that that many more Arabs added to her population was simply unacceptable and would somehow spell the end of the Jewish state. (Racism pure and simple. The ironic thing is how closely middle-eastern Jews and Arabs are related, -see study in Genetics 2000) This refusal to allow, even 100-150k annually, the victims of war and their descendents to go back to their homes reminded of those poor Jews, who after somehow miraculously managing to survive Nazi atrocities and genocide finally made it all the way to their former homes only to discover their former neighbors were no less hateful than the Nazis and would not allow, through use of force in many cases, them to return home. Imagine the heart break if you can. Tribalism means division. It is for this reason that Israel cannot be, despite her claims, a secular democracy.
    All you need to do to see what Israel has done is look at: Google: 'map of Israel through the years.' That tells the whole story. Illegal settlements (colonies) and military occupations, collective punishing of a whole population, and so on are all facets of ethic cleansing. There is a wonderful, old now, documentary, but if you have not seen it, watch Occupation 101. Then tell me about Israel's desire for peace. Or read what occurred during Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Israel becomes much worse than the terror she claims to be fighting against. During this assault on that ship.. I forget it's name (mavi something) -at the time I thought, why would they drop their soldiers in that hell? why not follow the ship to port and board her their with a proper force and arrest the Captain and seize the ship? They must have wanted to create a spectacle or are so used to acting with such impunity that they feel they can do whatever they want. Either way they killed many innocent people that day, including an American I think, as well as putting the lives of their own soldiers in extreme danger. In the end they found no real weaponry. I would love to support Israel but I cannot support terror, Not from the Muslims and not from any group.
    There are no 'sides' in a quest for truth.

  • Schlomotion

    Kenneth Levin is a CAMERA operative who takes a lot of paragraphs to come around to his real thesis: that Thomas Friedman and Peter Beinart are Uncle Toms. He even gives a dandy hack-Freudian analysis at the end. Until Mr. Beinart and Mr. Friedman consult him for psychiatric services or are indicted for murder, it is definitely a mission-creep of Mr. Levin's profession to offer psychological theories on the two men. Then again, Mr. Levin is making a career move to switch to Dr. Laura style pop psychoanalysis. Imagine if Dr. Laura continued to use the aegis of Harvard University to write political smut about traumatic bonding.

    The about the author section here should disclose that Kenneth Levin works for CAMERA and that his wife is the Executive Director and President. "Psychiatrist" and "Historian" don't really explain what this article's purpose is. This does:
    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=56&…