Once upon a time, Jewish progressives embraced their people’s history and were willing to die for its modern political realization. Though they eschewed traditional observance, they typically substituted faith in history for belief in G-d.
by Matthew Hausman
Edmund Burke famously stated that “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it” and this adage has proven true time and again.
However, what of those who know history but reject its lessons, and instead manufacture alternative traditions based on partisan fantasy or political ideology? Will they merely repeat the mistakes of the past or ensure a future where truth is subjective and morality relative? If the latter, they risk creating a world devoid of ethical integrity and intellectual honesty. Unfortunately, historical revisionism has become part of the American political process, and those who use it to promote radical narratives are the ones most responsible for today’s irrational hostility towards Israel and the Jewish People.
Progressive extremists are particularly shrill in denouncing Israel for supposed acts of aggression and callousness that in truth are neither outrageous nor extreme, but instead consistent with international law and Jewish historical rights and tradition. They are especially indignant when Jewish history conflicts with the claims of Palestinian-Arabs, whose national narrative is a chimerical study in antisemitic rejectionism with little or no foundation.
This was apparent when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking for President Trump, acknowledged the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The Union for Reform Judaism (“URJ”) responded with a statement urging the President to recant, declaring: “Any unilateral move…would place serious and critical obstacles to a viable two-state solution, damaging the prospect of renewing the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and causing a long-term threat to Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state.” But President Trump’s position reflected sentiments that prevailed before the Obama administration and an understanding that Palestinians oppose a “viable two-state solution” because they deny Israel’s legitimacy. That denial is actually the most “serious and critical” obstacle to peace....
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