Monday, February 23, 2009

Self-Hating Jews

Jewish people on the left wing are often accused as being self-hating. People like Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, in particular. The reason is that those on the left, Jews included, tend to be highly critical of the policies of Israel towards the Palestinians.

Ridiculous. Or, should I say, mishugah.

Taking a stand for human rights and peace is one of the most Jewish things a person can do. Applying standards of justice and righteousness to Israel, as to anywhere in the world, is consistent with being part of the peace movement.

The term "self-hating Jew" implies that we have issues with our Jewishness. Being critical of Israel does not in and of itself equal having identity issues. I know Jews who support Israel who have issues with their Judaism. In fact, I would dare to say that we all have issues with ourselves, regardless of our political persuasion. Struggling with our faith and culture is part of being human. I know Christians who struggle with their identity, as well as people from different ethnic backgrounds who are trying to reconcile who they are with the world around them.

Accusing left-wing Jews of being self-hating is a distraction from the issues at hand: Israel's racist and war-mongering policies. I watched a video of Finkelstein on YouTube last evening that pretty well summed up the situation. Slapping the label of "self-hating" on to any Jew who criticizes Israel has no relevance. It doesn't mean our arguments are wrong, any more than if we were "self-loving."

1 comment:

cath said...

as usual, well said. i make no claim to any authority, but i am still naive enough to wish we could all agree to disagree without labeling others, and (more importantly) diminishing people's worth with our words!!