Saturday, November 06, 2004

I have argued in the past that at the core of the self-destructive policies of some of Israel's leftists lies a crisis of Jewish identity. While I still find that argument compelling, I must confess that it must be reconsidered in light of one plain and obvious fact. Many of the most outrageous meshugassen of Israel's left have recently been mirrored by the Angry Left in the United States. (Yes, lots of them are Jewish but far from all.) The arrogant portrayal of religious people as country bumpkins, the attribution of all forms of self-defense to primitive bloodlust, the insistence of the privileged to speak in the name of the poor -- it's all way too familiar. A broader explanation seems to be called for. I do want to get this much off my chest, though:

Many of the angriest leftists in both Israel and the U.S. display great love for an abstraction called mankind but great contempt for actual people.

So there. I feel better already.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back Ben! Blog hasn't been the same without you...

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of the angriest leftists in both Israel and the U.S. display great love for an abstraction called mankind but great contempt for actual people.

That's just classic.

Good to have you back.
R. Brand

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh huh. And on the right, all we have is contempt for actual people (poor people, gay people, irreligious people, whatever) dressed up in the language of religion.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And benny, what about the smug portrayal of irreligious people as lustful, immoral, criminals? Or worse, as men who don't know their own heart?

Haven't you ever heard an orthodox Rabbi speak about the irreligious?

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And finally "the insistence of the privileged to speak in the name of the poor" What is the alternative, oh learned professor? Shall we give the poor newspaper columns and television time? If the privlaged don't speak for the poor, who will? Wasn't Jeremiah among the privlaged? Didn't he speak for the poor?

Stay away from politics Benny. When you wander into this relam you tend to blather.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"attribution of all forms of self-defense to primitive bloodlust"

And the other side says that anyone who wants to talk for a few minutes before going to the guns is a deluded liberal weeny.

Everyone of the excesses mentioned in this post, are present on the fringes of both sides.

What an unhelpful, and dishonest post.

8:37 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

More, and an apology here:

http://dovbear.blogspot.com/2004/11/beating-up-ben-chorin.html

Ben, I hope you know I hold you in th highest regard.

DB

11:34 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

DB,
I'm determined not to go another round on this one, so I'm not responding to the substance of your remarks. But.. (and I will surely live to regret this momentary lack of restraint), you fail to distinguish between self-righteousness, which seems to be fairly well distributed, and patronizing condescension, which the left has cornered the market on.

In any case, you can rest assured that when the time comes, I will show you no mercy.

Ben

12:23 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

When a frum Jew looks down his nose at a secularist, is he condecending, or is he being self-rightuous, or does it even matter? The point is people on both sides tend to misbehave. Failure to acknowledge it suggests an agenda.

Looking forward to getting mine from you.

1:02 AM  

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