Friday, July 10, 2020

Dear Latest Woker - Jews aren’t indigenous to Israel? According to whom? - by Jonathan S. Tobin

A woke rabbi who launched a Twitter war over the meaning of a word demonstrated how leftist politics pollutes language and cancels Jewish rights.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
09 July '20..

There are a lot of things wrong with woke culture. While the impulse to demonstrate solidarity with the oppressed and opposition to bad things like racism is, in principle, praiseworthy, the virtue signaling is insufferable. As is the tone of self-righteous disapproval emanating from the woke towards all those that don’t measure up to their standards.

As a friend’s daughter eloquently summed up the problem, no matter how hard you try, “there’s always a woker fish” who will wind up shaming you for insufficient ardor for supposedly righteous causes. That means the competition to out virtue signal and shame lesser beings can lead even seemingly nice people to do and say things that are not only obnoxious, but actually have dangerous implications.

And that is the problem with Rabbi Andrue J. Kahn, assistant rabbi at New York’s famed Temple Emanu-El, the landmark Reform cathedral on Fifth Avenue. “Rabbi Andy,” as he styles himself on social media, seems like a well-meaning young man and posts lots of cute pictures on Instagram. And although he’s just one out of a staff of five rabbis (plus two with emeritus status) at that historic institution, he’s generally regarded as a comer in the world of liberal Judaism. So when he decided to rant on Twitter about something, it provoked a controversy that made news.

As his Twitter account demonstrates, Rabbi Andy is up to date as far as supporting things that woke rabbis should support, like abortion rights, Native American rights, why Black Lives Matter and smearing President Donald Trump’s supporters as anti-Semites. He also knows what to oppose, including America’s Founding Fathers, the Zionist Organization of America and, significantly, a letter signed by famous writers and artists against “cancel culture” and the repression of free speech that it encourages.

In other words, Rabbi Andy, like so many other well-meaning young liberal Jews, is just fine with cancel culture. Indeed, he’s ready to cancel the entire Jewish people, and by implication, Zionism and Israel, to demonstrate his impatience with the non-woke.

As part of his sermonizing about the wrongs of white supremacy and its companion evil, “white Jewishness,” the rabbi is particularly upset with the notion that the Jews are “indigenous” to Israel.

(Continue to Full Column)

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