Way back in the olden thymes, Democrats loved trotting out liberal Catholics as proof they were down with the folks. It was a common rouse in areas with an immigrant past like Chicago and Boston. They would show up somewhere with the local Bishop and talk about their faith. Some of them were even pro-life, but many finessed it to avoid having to choose, but all of them eventually had to choose and they chose to be pro-abortion.
The last guy to face the choice between his liberal faith and his Christian faith was Bart Stupak. Nancy Pelosi was so mad about his doubts that she made him walk the plank. He was forced to recant at a press conference, promising to never doubt the Progressive faith again. This ended his political career. Today, there are no pro-life Democrats and few who even bother mentioning membership in a Christian church.
That’s how religions work. You can’t be in two of them for long before one or both force you to decide. American Jews are about to learn that truth as their party tilts in favor of the Arabs as opposed to the Israelis. The boys at Vox are scrambling to come up with some way to be anti-Israel and still a member of the tribe in good standing. That means Talmudic hairsplitting about what it means to be Zionist, versus a secular ethnocentric.
Israel has always been more than just a place on a map. From the beginning, it has existed as a series of promises as well as a geographical location: a promise of being a place where Jews can live, a promise of being a place that will keep Jews safe, and a place that secures the Jewish people’s democratic ideals. Implicit in those promises has always been a threat: that if any of them were ever broken, Israel would no longer truly be Israel. It would just be a place on a map that happened to be labeled with that name.
Theodor Herzl, one of the founders of modern Zionism, once told a gathering of Zionist leaders that “those of us who are today prepared to hazard our lives for the cause would regret having raised a finger if we were able to organize only a new social system, and not a more righteous one.” As the American Zionist leader Louis Lipsky wrote in the 1946 forward to Herzl’s 1896 treatise “The Jewish State,” Zionism “had to become a movement of democracy.”
You can see the difficulty. Israel is not just another country. It can never be just another country to Jews or anyone else for that matter. Israel is an ethno-state. If is explicitly for Jews and only Jews. That leaves American Jews in a tough spot, because when it comes time to choose, liberals will demand that Jews embrace the low-IQ violent nitwits in the territories over Israel. In the abstract that’s possible, but not a matter of fact.
Quietly, gradually, an internal crisis has grown so great that it threatens the survival of Israel as we know it today: Jewish, democratic, and an accepted member of the community of nations. If something does not change, then that Israel cannot survive. An Israel that is authoritarian, that is isolated in the world, and that betrays the ideals of its founders will take its place. It will retain the Israeli flag and national anthem, it will stamp “Israel” on its passports, but it will not be Israel as Zionists like Herzl and Lipsky — and millions of Jews who believed and still believe in their vision — hoped and intended.
It’s a fascinating bit of jujitsu. Israel is a functioning democracy. No one has any doubts about the integrity of their elections. For the Left, democracy means something entirely different than it does for normal people. For them, it unity. An election that goes against them is due to divisiveness, so the Left claims it is a threat to democracy. In this case it means claiming Netanyahu as a despot and therefore against democracy.
That, of course, justifies the South Africa treatment Israel is about to get from the American Left. They claim their concern is based on their hope for Israel to thrive as an enlightened democracy, by which they mean a borderless nothing, which is impossible in the Levant. None of makes any sense, but there is no way to make sense of the Progressive concept of democracy and support Israel as an ethno-state.
I’m sure the Vox boys are confident they can make this work, but that’s not the way to bet, given what has happened to Christian churches. The Episcopal Church tried to compromise with Progressives and were devoured by them. It’s now a homosexual freak show. The Catholic Church is going through similar process and may be facing a schism, as the traditionalist recoil in horror at the direction of the Church.
Civic religions always end up having a problem with the Jews. The reason is you can leave the Catholic Church and become a Lutheran. You can be a Lutheran and have loyalty to your countrymen. There’s nothing in your nature that makes you a Lutheran or a Catholic. Jews can’t do the same. You’re born a Jew. It’s literally in your bones and your Jewish identity comes before all else. It’s literally what makes you a Jew.
Steve Sailer thinks that the smarter Jews are figuring out that the Left is coming for them next. I’m less optimistic about it. Civic religions eventually demand absolute loyalty to the state. They also come to doubt anyone that has a history of not professing loyalty to the state. Let’s face it, Jews are always assumed to have dual loyalty. Fair or not, that’s reality and the new Left emerging in America will come to distrust them.