Infamy

Published February 01, 2007, issue of February 02, 2007.
  • Print
  • Share Share

It’s hard to fathom what could have possessed the leaders of the American Jewish Committee to publish the screed posted on their Web site this week, “’Progressive’ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,” by Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University. From its sensationalist title to its tired invocation of the Holocaust in the opening paragraph to its closing words about the “drift of ‘progressive’ Jewish thought,” the slim essay is a shocking tissue of slander.

The essay’s contents, mostly a recitation of anti-Israel sentiments voiced at various times by a handful of left-wing and liberal intellectuals — some quoted correctly, others twisted beyond recognition — teach us little that we didn’t know about the current state of thought among progressives, Jewish or not. But that is not its intent. It is deliberately silent about Jewish progressives who support Israel, defend it against detractors, lobby for it in Washington — and lead its troops into battle. When such liberals are mentioned, as in the case of Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, it is only to defame them by lumping them with the extremists. Explaining nuance would muddy the essay’s apparent intent, which is to turn Jews against liberalism and silence critics.

No, this booklet teaches nothing worth learning about antisemitism or progressive thought. On the other hand, the fact that it was commissioned and published by an organization that once stood for dignity and civility in Jewish communal discourse speaks volumes about the state of Jewish leadership today.






Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.