Leftist Misrepresentation of Israel

Many years ago I read books by liberal Jewish writers, such as Arthur Koestler (“The Thirteenth Tribe“), Philip Roth (“Goodbye Columbus“), Norman Mailer (“The Human Stain“) and many others.  They were all more or less left-wing ideologues who represented a widely held view that there are two kinds of Jew, the intellectual leftist diaspora Jew, who is always against persecution of minorities, and the tough aggressive Israeli Jew, who is always fighting the poor Palestinian Arabs.  To put the difference into one word, the diaspora Jew was good, while the Israeli Jew was bad.

It seems to me that unfortunately the Jewish diaspora has swallowed this falsification hook, line and sinker.  It is about as true as most anti-Semitic caricatures. For example, “all Jews are rich,” this was a canard that I particularly resented, since my family were dirt poor and when I was growing up in the East End of London, we sometimes didn’t have enough to eat;  or “all Jews are Communists,”  many Jews in Eastern Europe were Communists, but most Jews who were small business owners were certainly not; or “Jews are not athletic,” what about the many Jews who were prohibited from representing Germany in the 1938 Olympics, or Mark Spitz, who won 10 Gold swimming medals, and Aly Raisman, female American gymnast.

If you look at Israel’s representation in intellectual pursuits, any Jew should be proud. For example, Israel is the leading country in the world (including the USA) in the area of cyber security.  This doesn’t come about by accident, but results from many years of Israeli/Jewish focus on computer technology, mathematical analysis and software development.  Also, Israel for its size has won many more Nobel Prizes than predicted based on population alone (just as for Jews generally), for example, Ciechanover, Hershko, Aumann, Schechtman, and in literature we have Amos Oz and David Grossman (both notably leftist).

So to summarize, this distinction between diaspora and Israeli Jews based on left-wing ideology is nothing more than a fiction.  But, I for one am very glad that Israel does have many tough Jews who are prepared to fight for their rights, as well as being able to discuss it intelligently.