We’ve spent a lot of words on this blog on how insufferably paranoid many Jewish activists are, particularly the reform ones, and how partisan and counter-productive many Jewish organizations are. Also how insignificant serious Anti-Semites are here in the United States. I thought it’s time to spend at least a few words on what the most skeptical actually think about Jews here, and how to effectively change peoples’ minds.
My Personal Experiences
I’ve lived in the United States my whole life and traveled around many areas. I’ve never worn my Judaism on my sleeve, since that’s not my style, but never denied it if asked. I’ve never felt any sort of hostility because of it anywhere, whether in the super-conservative deep South, or super-liberal urban North. If there’s any actual Nazis around, they’re sure doing a good job of hiding, because I can’t find them without specifically looking, and even then only on obscure corners of the Internet.
What I have heard is vague skepticism on a few subjects. Many people feel that we’re overly deferential to Israel. Some suburban Conservatives have expressed views like, I don’t have anything against Jews in general, but every single Jew I’ve ever met has been a rabid Liberal. Some people are skeptical about how many Jews are in leadership positions in Government agencies, political groups, banks, and media companies. I haven’t met anyone, though, who seemed interested in being hostile to individual Jews who hadn’t done anything personally.
Going Against These
I’d like to think I’m reasonably good at getting along with people of all persuasions. Part of that is having a good idea for how to express ideas to people in a way that won’t immediately put them off. Along those lines, the thing to definitely not do if you hear any such opinions expressed, regardless of what you personally think of them, is to shriek like a maniac about how they’re basically Nazis and they clearly want to commit genocide. That’s a great way to end a conversation, and to make one more person inclined to think that most Jews really are insufferable maniacs. Reactions like that have never convinced anyone of anything else. I think it helps a lot more to rationally debate these subjects.
On our relationship to Israel, I’m a little sympathetic to this myself – I think I can make the case that we’re not as deferential to them as people think, but I also think both Israel and America would be better off being less connected to each other. America should send less tax dollars overseas and should spend less time butting it’s nose into other countries’ business – we get it wrong too often and it tends to draw us into foreign wars that don’t serve our national interest. Israel would also be better off without interference from Americans that don’t really understand the local situation, and too much foreign aid arguably harms their economy and their defense industry. Expressing these opinions tends to defuse that sort of conflict.
On too many Jews being rabid liberals, that’s a big part of the reason why I started this blog. Being openly Jewish and active in political Conservatism is the best thing we can do to convince any skeptical American Conservatives that Jews are not inherently rabid Liberals. Fly that flag everyone! My colleague’s post on the Passover Manifesto is a good overview of how and why we can do more on this point.
On too many Jews in important positions, I often point out how many Jews are in important positions in the Conservative movement too – people like Dennis Prager, Ezra Levant, and Ben Shapiro just for starters. In my opinion, Jews are oddly over-represented in the upper ranks of pretty much everything (except maybe sports). I do agree that we’re not exactly doing ourselves a lot of favors on this front with things like cancelling Kanye’s bank accounts or bragging about how many Jews are in Biden’s cabinet. Maybe we ought to do less of that.
If You Don’t Believe Me
I don’t expect to convince everyone. Some of you may not care for my counter-arguments. Some of you may find it difficult to believe there aren’t actual Nazis under every rock, as much of the media claims. I would tell any such people to go out into the world and see for yourself. Talk to people, and try to listen more than you lecture. The mainstream media is working harder than ever to divide us for their own benefit; don’t believe what they say over what’s in front of your own eyes.