19 November 2013

Bad news for Zionists: with friends like these...

Perhaps someone should start a "Bad News Sunday" column, the sort in which one rails against the failure to know what one is talking about (and I'm talking about friends, not enemies, of Israel here). Rabbi Shmuley Boteach ("America's Rabbi", as he's called elsewhere in the same issue) accuses British Zionists of an "uncomfortable silence" in this article in The Times of Israel.

For those who've been fortunate enough not to have come across Rabbi Boteach before, he is the author, inter alia, of works entitled "Kosher Sex" (you go ask, I'm not going there, even if paid to do so), "Kosher Jesus" and many others, and he even had the chutzpah to stand for the US House of Representatives as a Republican last year. Fortunately, for everyone's peace of mind, he didn't get elected.

Anyway, the good(?) Rabbi rails against, as noted, British Zionists for their supposed silence. I really don't know what (as the saying goes) he's on. For a start, there's the (non-Jewish) British Zionist, Chas Newkey-Burke and his "Oy-Va-Goy" blog (but then Chas is proudly "out", in the out of the closet sense, so perhaps beyond Boteach's pale). The Community Security Trust website is increasingly active; indeed, turn your back, and it's posted 3 new articles!. It doesn't allow comments, so maybe Shmuley doesn't rate it because of that. Then there's Richard Millet: turn your back on him, and he's got a 100 comments on his latest posting (usually of him bravely filming some Boycott, Divestment Sanctions event and risking life and limb doing so), and it's no longer worth adding a new comment. And as for "Harry's Place", well...loads of postings every day, huge comments lists...A lot of it is a bit far left (while being Zionist) for my taste, but don't knock your friends. Also on the "a bit too left for my taste" list (but that's my problem, not his) is Bob from Brockley, and he links (as do so many) to yet other sites on his blog roll.

In all this, we shouldn't forget the British-based (anti-Guardian) Comment Is Free Watch, BBC Watch, et al, websites.

Is this enough to demonstrate that Boteach really doesn't know what he's talking about? Not that this is necessarily anything new for supposedly worldly, but in practice unworldly, Rabbis.

And I have only scratched the surface of my own personal blog roll, and I haven't included Anne here, because she's resident in Israel.

I think that stupidity/lack of knowledge in our opponents is welcome, because it gives us a chance to attack them via a weak point of theirs. When it's those people who are supposed to be on the same side, it gets very worrying. I need to add that this is not a Left/Right thing (despite my citing of mainly "Left" blogs), because of lovely people like the late Norman Geras. As Anne noted recently, in her own tribute to Norm, he was most kind to everybody, and especially so to his fellow Zionists. This was not despite his own Marxism, but because of his manifest goodness. Boteach's attitude may be a phenomenon of the Right in the USA: anyone who doesn't agree with their take on a situation must either be stupid or silent. In Europe, the first response is to engage with them. A trait Anne, for example, shows in abundance, allowing me to post here, given that I am a Lefty, albeit a "sane" one!

Having re-read his article, my second reaction is even less kind than my first. He really is just looking for cheap points: look how alert I am! I noted how the Brits just ignored him. Do note that the weight of those who did respond...and that CST picks up on a different meeting that didn't even penetrate Boteach's radar. And how many US sites pick up on everything that upsets Boteach?

The following day, I came across this article, from the same source, in which Jonathan Arkush from the Board of Deputies, takes Boteach apart far more neatly than I managed.

By Brian Goldfarb.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

I don't dislike Boteach and I don't like him. He is pretty much an American product who knows how to speak to an American audience. However for all that you have written and the blogs you cited, I think he certainly has a point. Having said that, it must be noted that British Jewry has always been different from American Jewry as far as vocal visibility is concerned. American Jews are very secure in their position. America is genuinely egalitarian, while Britain is still feudal. That's not I talking. I'm only repeating what I heard from Christopher Hitchens. American Jewry is much bigger in numbers, much more robust in its participation on every level of American life: media, films, academia, politics, you name it. British Jews have to be more low key and careful. Especially since Brits seem to be rather comfortable in their own genteel antisemitism. Especially since the Muslim minority is so much larger and self-assured. British cinema is really not very kind towards Jews, is it? I once wrote something about it, here; http://contentious-centrist.blogspot.ca/2011/04/i-prefer-fagin.html

SnoopyTheGoon said...

The bird shit is running out on Nauru? Damn! I always liked the idea that somewhere in the world there was a government based on bird shit, which is different from the vast majority of governments. These tend to be based on bullshit, although the government of this our Great Republic is based of horseshit piled on chicken shit. And so it goes, as the man said.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

But at least using a two-layer structure show inventiveness, which is a serious advantage of US of A traditionally.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

It's the Mouse That Roared. Next up: they declare war on Russia, promising to back down for the right price.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I can see it happening. Makes sense.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Sex Picture