Why Jews Don’t Vote Republican and Why Michael Medved is a Moron

Every now and then Jewish conservatives like to get together and wonder why Jews don’t vote Republican. Like most stupid questions, this is one of those things that can’t be answered because the idiots asking the question are operating on a wrong assumption.

Their assumption is that voting Republican would be better for Jews, than voting Democrat. The truth is that both parties are bad for the Jews. The Democrats may be worse by %16. But so what?

“Hey Gus, I can punch you in the face with my right fist or my left fist. My right fist will hurt you 16 percent less than my left fist. How about it?”

Yeah. Name anything the Democrats are bad at, affirmative action, high taxes, pressure on Israel… then tell me how the Republicans got rid of those things when they controlled the White House and Congress. Then stop and pause a bit so I can laugh in your face.

Sure every time I set foot in a polling booth in a national election I vote Republican, not because I seriously think things are going to change, but because I’ll take that +16% and because I’m an Orthodox Jew and may religion encourages rewarding good intentions, even if they don’t translate into anything tangible.

Most Jews in America are liberal or secular people who live in secular and liberal parts of the country. And Democrats speak their language very well. And guess who they vote for? The same people that the Methodists and Presbyterians they’re intermarried with vote for.

For most Jews the American Dream was about not being Jewish. And after reducing Judaism to a Broadway production, they know they’ve succeeded when they can self-righteously ignore any Jewish interests, and fight for the rights of Blacks, Mexicans and whoever instead. The Jewishness of their intermarried grandchildren who waved HOPE AND CHANGE banners is as relevant as Obama’s Swedishness… and let’s not pretend any different.

But back to why Michael Medved is a moron, because Commentary Magazine ran a forum on Why Dem Jews is Votingum Liberalese, and Medved the Great fell back on one of his rants about Jews voting liberal because they killed Jeebus. Or something equally stupid.

For most American Jews, the core of their Jewish identity isn’t solidarity with Israel; it’s rejection of Christianity.

Earth to Medved. Jews have one of the highest intermarriage rates of America… with Christians. If Jewish identity came down to rejecting Christianity, there would be no Jewish intermarriage except with Buddhists.

Jewish voters don’t embrace candidates based on their support for the state of Israel as much as they passionately oppose candidates based on their identification with Christianity—especially the fervent evangelicalism of the dreaded “Christian Right.”

If the issue is a Jewish rejection of Christianity, then why do Jews love Bill Clinton, who made a big point of his Christianity? Why did Jews vote for Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama? Clearly Christianity is not the issue. Conservative Christianity is the issue. So all Medved has done here is found a fancy way of saying that liberal Jews don’t like conservatives. Which we already knew.

Of course being the B.S. artist that he is, Medved tried to spin it into Jews not liking Christianity as a whole, rather than not liking Conservative Christianity specifically. Fail.

The contrasting components of the American Jewish population connect only through a point of common denial, not through any acts of affirmation.

Now give me a real life example of that.

Imagine a dialogue between Woody Allen and a youthful, idealistic emissary of the Hasidic Chabad movement

I said a real life example, not a ****ng Woody Allen movie, you ****ng moron. If you’re going to claim that the only thing Jews have in common is drinking Christian blood, you’d better be prepared to give real world examples, not imaginary dialogues being played out in your head.

The one area where they find common ground—and differ (together) from the majority of their fellow citizens—is their dismissal of New Testament theology, with its messianic claims for Jesus.

Also they both hate serial killers, like Mozart and chocolate. So what’s your point?

Woody Allen dismisses all religion. The Chabad Chassid dismisses all religion besides Judaism. To repeat Medved’s idiotic analogy, a Catholic and an Atheist would also share common ground in dismissing Judaism. Is that actually significant?

Anyone who doubts that rejection of Jesus has replaced acceptance of Torah (or commitment to Israel) as the eekur sach—the essential element—of American Jewish identity should pause to consider an uncomfortable question. What is the one political or religious position that makes a Jew utterly unwelcome in the organized community? We accept atheist Jews, Buddhist Jews, pro-Palestinian Jews, Communist Jews, homosexual Jews, and even sanction Hindu-Jewish meditation societies. “Jews for Jesus,” however, or “Messianic Jews” face resistance and exclusion everywhere.

Anyone who doubts that Michael Medved is too stupid to pudding with a spoon, has to decide that he’s completely dishonest instead.

There is no such thing as Messianic Jews, only Christian missionaries. A Catholic church and a Mormon church and a Hindu temple might all agree that they don’t want Evangelical missionaries coming to them. Does that mean that not wanting evangelical missionaries coming in is a point of unity between them? Does it define their identity. Nawp.

Seriously, Michael Medved is either a liar or a moron. You decide which.

In Left-leaning congregations, many rabbis welcome stridently anti-Israel speakers and even Palestinian apologists for Islamo-Nazi terror. But if they invited a “Messianic Jewish” missionary, they’d face indignant denunciation from their boards and, very probably, condemnation by their national denominational leadership.

And they’d face the same thing if they invited Rabbi Yehuda Levin or a member of AFSI, or anyone more religious or more conservative than them.

It is far more acceptable in the Jewish community today to denounce Israel (or the United States), to deny the existence of God, or to deride the validity of Torah than it is to affirm Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Thank you, Jerry Falwell.

Which Jewish community is that exactly? The Orthodox one? Nope. Many of those things wouldn’t fly in a lot of Conservative synagogues either. So I’m guessing Medved has reduced the Jewish community to the most radical congregations. Way to strawman your way for Jesus, Mikey.

Anyone who rejects the existence of God, by definition is going to reject any claims to Jesus being god either. So way to go proving that atheists don’t like religion. Whoohoo!

“Jews therefore view enthusiastic Christian believers—no matter how reliably they support Israel and American Jews—as enemies by definition. Rather than acknowledge the key role played by Christian Zionists (prominently including Harry Truman)…”

Hold on there, is Michael Medved seriously arguing that Jews should embrace conservative Christians… by citing the actions of a Democratic President? The successor of FDR? Not to mention a guy with a long record of saying nasty things about Jews in private?

Seriously, read a history book.

liberal partisans love to invoke 2,000 years of bloody Christian anti-Semitism. Today, however, the echoes of that poisonous hatred, complete with seething contempt for the allegedly disloyal and manipulative -“Israel lobby” in American politics, turn up far more frequently in the newsrooms of prestige newspapers or the faculty lounges of Ivy League universities than they do in Baptist churches in Georgia or Alabama.

Let’s be honest folks, they turn up in both places. Maybe the conservative side has gained a +16 percent margin over the liberal side, maybe.

The anti-Christian obsessions of American Jews lead not only to skewed perceptions of our true friends and enemies but also to anomalous definitions of “Jewish issues.” Much of the communal establishment insists, for instance, that their support of same-sex marriage and “abortion rights” expresses timeless Jewish values. Why and how?

Why assume that liberal Jews support abortion or gay marriage because they’re anti-Christian? If so how does Michael Medved explain the accepting position of some Protestant Christian churches on gay marriage and abortion? Are they anti-Christian too?

If Michael Medved wasn’t a lying moron, he might admit that liberal congregations are more likely to support gay marriage and abortion, regardless of whether they’re Jewish or not. Sadly he is.

The liberal belief that Jews should be pro-choice and pro–gay marriage has nothing to do with connecting to Jewish tradition and everything to do with disassociating from Christian conservatives.

Or maybe it has something to do with… liberalism. Which endorses gay marriage and abortion rights period. Michael Medved keeps trying to separate out Jews because it fits his agenda to claim that Jews are crazy obsessive anti-Christian whackjobs who will endorse gay marriage because they hate Jesus. The fact is that liberal Jews support liberal causes. Just as conservative Jews like Medved support conservative causes.

According to this argument, Catholic and evangelical attempts to “impose” their values on social issues represent a theocratic threat to American pluralism that has allowed Judaism to thrive.

Bwahaha. No wait. Since the Catholic Church supports Universal Health Care, shouldn’t Jews naturally respond by opposing Universal Health Care?

Oh wait it doesn’t work that way because Michael Medved is a lying moron.

The one segment of the contemporary community least concerned with this purported menace is the Orthodox—the less than 10 percent of the Jewish population that gives nearly as disproportionate support to Republicans as their Reform, Conservative, and secular Jewish neighbors give to Democrats. The reason for this contrasting response goes beyond the Orthodox tendency to agree with conservative Christians on most social issues and relates to their much greater comfort with religiosity in general. The Orthodox feel no instinctive horror at political alliances with others who make faith the center of their lives.

I have a headache now.

Michael Medved knows Orthodox Jews so well. Because Orthodox Jews are more comfortable with Christians than liberal Jews are…  in some imaginary universe.

As an Orthodox Jew myself, let me break the bad news to Michael Medved. Orthodox Jews are far less likely to make political alliances with anyone outside Orthodox Judaism. By contrast Reform Jews regularly make alliances with Christian liberals.

Interfaith is something that happens mostly among liberal Jews. Orthodox Jews are not big on interfaith. Or on government control over social issues. Orthodox Jews oppose abortion, but few communities really want the government dictating a Conservative Christian take on abortion laws that would contradict Jewish law that places the life of the mother first.

Orthodox Jews do not vote Republican because they are more comfortable with Conservative Christians, but because they agree more with Republican baseline moral, political and economic values. Most Orthodox Jews do not live anywhere near Conservative Christians, and if they had Baptist missionaries knocking on their doors every 5 minutes, they might have a whole other take on things.

Killing Kasztner – A Brand New Whitewash of a Nazi Collaborator

If you don’t know who Reszo Kasztner or Rudolf Kasztner or Rudolf Kastner was, the title of HaNefesh Ve’Hasatan about sums it up. Reszo Kasztner was one of the more prominent Jewish Nazi collaborators. Like many leading collaborators he started out trying to save Jewish lives, and like a lot of them ended up identifying more with the Nazis than with the Jews.

After the War Reszo Kasztner became a political football because he was appointed to a position in the Labor government in Israel. This led to attacks from Nationalist Zionists charging Kasztner with Nazi collaboration which instead of firing Kasztner, the Labor government tried to silence with a libel trail, that the government lost, when Kasztner began fondly remembering all his favorite Nazis while in the dock. A second government controlled trial exonerated him, but by then he had already been assassinated.

The Haredi Anti-Zionists meanwhile hypocritically tried to smear all of Israel as Nazi collaborators using Rudolf Kastner. This is the usual way that Haredi anti-Zionist smears ignore any distinctions between different Zionist groups. The only problem was that Kastner’s big payoff from the Nazis was the Kastner Train, which included the author of Vayoel Moshe. Yes, the irony is that the one Zionist Nazi collaborator actually rescued the Satmar Rebbe.

Meanwhile the left has been trying to exonerate Reszo Kasztner as a misunderstood guy. The big problem with that approach is that Reszo Kasztner didn’t just collaborate with the Nazis before the war, but after the war. Reszo Kasztner testified and worked on behalf of a bunch of top Nazis after the war, including Dieter Wisliceny who introduced the Yellow Star and Ghettos for Jews.

But the Pro Kasztner documentaries keep on coming. The latest Killing Kasztner is from an unimpeachable source, Gaylen Ross, a former model who appeared in Dawn of the Dead, and a bunch of episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger. Yeah seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Killing Kasztner and uses the usual lame modern documentary formats. There’s already a trailer with lots of heroic music, chanting monks in the background, WWII footage and interviews with his daughter and the guy who supposedly shot him.

Even the trailer contains plenty of lies. Kasztner’s daughter claims that her father saved more Jews than anyone else. That honor would probably go to Frank Foley, certainly not Kasztner who saved important people, many of whom had paid off his Nazi buddies. But in the bigger picture, Kasztner helped kill a lot more Jews than he saved. Kasztner and some of his associates lied to Hungarian Jews telling them there was no danger and nothing to worry about, that everything was gonna be fight. Just sit back and relax. We got this one. A 1000 or so people, most of them rich and influential got an express train out of Nazi territory, the rest got Auschwitz.

I know the Jewish left has a way of not being able to let go of trying to rewrite history, but they might want to let Kasztner go. Especially when your latest argument comes from a guest star on two episodes of Walker Texas Ranger.

Hello My Name is Patrick Martin, I Work for the Globe and Mail, and I’m Unqualified to Work in Journalism

Who’s Patrick Martin, you might ask? He’s a Globe and Mail reporter who’s written this week’s favorite Charedi bashing article, and earned his journalism degree from Clown College.

His article, A Hostile Takeover of Zionism is already burning up all the zOMG HAREDIM ARE TAKING OVER THE PLANET bloggers.

Problem, the article is actually pretty unintentionally hilarious. It would be like me trying to write a burning hit piece about how the battles inside the American Anglican Church, without being too clear on who Anglicans or what the difference is between them and Catholics. Well done Paddy, well done.

It’s really hard to read paragraphs like this, without breaking into laughter…

While the NRP has disappeared, the ideas and the name have grown. The powerful Shas Party, of Sephardi and Haredi disciples, is the best example.

Seriously, can anyone who knows Israeli politics read this without blowing milk out their nose? To put this into terms that Paddy can understand, the equivalent of this paragraph would be…

“The Presbyterian Church have since disappeared, but the Catholic Church has risen to take its ideas and its place.”

Listing how many ways Patrick Martin screwed up a simple paragraph almost defies the imagination. The NRP did not disappear, it renamed itself. The NRP does not care about El Al flying on Shabbat or segregated buses, it’s on the liberal side even of the Dati Leumi spectrum. Shas has nothing to do with the NRP, it’s a Sephardi Religio-Nationalist party, and shares very few concerns with the NRP. Its birth had more to do with the Haredim, who viewed the NRP as the enemy.

Patrick Martin’s A Hostile Takeover of Zionism is full of mind bogglingly insane paragraphs like that. Any journalist who wrote a similar article about any other group that his colleagues were actually familiar with, would be out on his ass, sweeping out the stables next to Jayson Blair.

These days, many of the Haredim – the word means “those who tremble” in awe of God” – have joined with right-wing religious Zionists to become a powerful political force.

Martin’s whackoid premise is that Haredim and Religious Zionists have joined forces. He has no real proof for any of this, especially since he can’t tell apart any subgroups of Haredim or Religious Zionist. The only tie to Haredim that he does cite involves a former Sefardi Chief Rabbi. But as far as Patrick Martin knows, Haredim are the whackoids in black, and Religious Zionists are the settlement whackoids. So it’s common sense for the Globe and Mail’s Jayson Blair to stitch them together with lots of statistics, some of which are actually not made up, but without any actual demonstration of how this supposed takeover by the two groups is running.

A decade ago, there were almost no Haredim in the West Bank settlements. Today, the two largest settlements are entirely ultra-Orthodox, and the Haredim are about a third of the almost 300,000 settlers.

Seriously, dude. If you want to define down settlements enough, you can also call all the Haredim in Jerusalem, settlers.

Will Israel adhere to its founding secular values or will it become a theocratic Jewish state?

What founding secular values? You mean like bans on Shabbat transportation and flights? Bans on stores selling meat? Israel’s principles today are more secular than they used to be. Try buying pork in Israel in 1961.

In the Haredim, the religious Zionists have acquired potent allies. Their followers obey orders without question.

Like robots! Except where does this alliance actually exist? Not in Disengagement, which the Haredim backed. Not in conversion, which the Religious Zionists are opposed to. But why should Patrick Martin actually have to provide actual examples of his conspiracy theories.

To obtain these goals they have influenced the platforms and growth of political parties, appointments to the rabbinical courts and government policy. As a result, religious schools get a disproportionate share of the education budget, El Al planes don’t fly on the Sabbath and publicly run buses are segregated on a growing number of runs.

Which happened just last week when Shas and the NRP and all the Haredim got together! zOMG! Except like totally not. Sabbath transportation bans are not new, and the El Al controversy was a Charedi issue. Bus segregation is opposed by Religious Zionists. And the appointments have been part of a quiet civil war between two sides.

I’ll skip a bunch of paragraphs in which Patrick Martin recites a whole bunch of stuff about Haredi violence, that once again does not serve to support his thesis. Finally he wraps up the insanity by citing a claiming that Israelis are leaving the country because it’s becoming more like Iran. Because Haifa and Tel Aviv, totally like Bnei Brak now. All the discos have shtreimels in them! And pork comes with a hasgacha.

Naturally the usual idiots like Failed Messiah are all over this, in between reporting on how the Gedolim are really David Icke’s lizard people.

There’s plenty to criticize about Haredim, without making up a whole lot of crap to do it. The key to writing articles about religion in Israel seems to be to have no clue what you’re talking about. People like Patrick Martin find it easy to spread conspiracy theories that are laughable, because none of his superiors will question anything negative written about Israel or religious Jews. It’s the Noah Feldman principle.