This is good news. Remember that monolith of Jewish opinion? The days when the leading Jewish organizations dictated the pro-Israel line and all other Jewish groups fell into line lest they undermine the security of the Jewish state, with Wolf Blitzer and Jeffrey Goldberg running shotgun? Well that orthodoxy is at last coming to an end.
Charlottesville has been a depth charge. The Israeli right was loath to condemn the white nationalists at the fringe of Trump’s base, and this has sent a shock through the American Jewish community. There is open argument about Israel; and it’s not going to end.
The best news is that the Forward, America’s leading liberal Jewish publication, published a piece by Naomi Dann of Jewish Voice for Peace last week equating Zionism with racism. That’s revolutionary. Time was when that argument was made by Arabs at the United Nations and then stifled as supposed anti-Semitism. Now it’s in the Forward, from the mouth of a Jew!
Dann says that white nationalist Richard Spencer was right when he expressed common cause with Israel, saying it’s an ethnocracy that discriminates in favor of a privileged group.
Richard Spencer, whose racist views are rightfully abhorred by the majority of the Jewish community, is holding a mirror up to Zionism and the reflection isn’t pretty.