The "new Jew," everywhere one turns
Thank you for this excellent article. This may be a little early, since you're planning to write about the "Mapping Project" in Boston, but I think this column touches on an aspect of Diaspora life that is very frustrating. Here in Boston, after the Mapping Project become public, our Jewish leaders sounded depressingly eager to placate our enemies and even to distance themselves from Israel. One wrote: "You can protest Jewish organizational policies/positions vis-a-vis Israel all you want (or even boycott Israel), but once you call for dismantling the basic Jewish communal infrastructure, you’ve crossed the line to antisemitism." Another complained that the Project was "blaming our community for the existence of Israel" and "they didn’t just name 'pro-Israel' advocacy groups like AIPAC or criticize ADL and JCRC." Both of these statements felt like efforts to distance the bulk of the American Jewish community from the right wing (who presumably are okay to boycott and target), and even from Israel in general. I hate to criticize our leadership, who devote their careers to serving our community, but this pleading attitude feels like exactly what you're describing above in Parshat Korach, and also what the Israeli teens on the train were happily rejecting. I wish that for once, our Boston leadership would just say to the haters: "We like Israel! Go *#*# yourselves!" It might not ever happen, but it would be refreshing if it did.
how ironic that this piece by Eli Spitzer was published on the same day as DG's post: