Sometimes I wish I was a right winger.
It would make my life so much easier. How nice it would be to be so sure I was right, never have any doubt my way was the only way, be so sure that anyone and everyone who didn’t see things as I do was not only wrong, but really not a Jew.
Sometimes I wish I was a super Orthodox Jew. It would make my life so much easier to have the arrogance of being absolutely certain my way was the only way to be a Jew, to know without any doubt exactly what G-d wanted not only for me but for every other Jew.
How great it would be not to be concerned about trying to find peace, to be certain that the only way to go was to not give one inch of land, to think of the Palestinians as all terrorists, to see all Jews who tried to work for peace as traitors, as naïve, as weaklings.
How comforting it would be to never ever question anything Trump says or does, to be so sure he is so great for Israel and that’s all that matters, to overlook or explain away all the lies he’s told the Jews like about moving the embassy to Jerusalem, to make nothing of the fact that he failed to mention the Jews in a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, that he said not a word when his press secretary said Hitler was not such a bad guy, that he refused at two press conferences in two days to condemn anti-Semitism, choosing instead to berate and belittle a religious Jewish reporter for daring to ask him to do so. To look away from the fact that his State Department has eliminated an office dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism around the world, to ignore that when he recently visited Poland, he did not visit the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising monument, even though President Obama visited the memorial as did President Bush as did President Clinton.
How great it would be to get a kick out of the fact that two Jews, Ivanka and Jared, are at the center of the action in the White House, our people looking out for our people, even though they did absolutely nothing about all the items in the paragraph above. Even though Ivanka is so full of herself that during the recent G-20 summit she had the chutzpah to sit in the president’s seat, act as the representative of the United States when in all previous administrations that job would have been that of the secretary of state. But Ivanka is the princess and so sees nothing wrong with assuming the throne, kind of like in Saudi Arabia.
And then we have Jared, lying about having had one meeting after another with Russian officials, meetings he seems to have forgotten until he was outed by the media, you know the fake news people who are enemies of the American people. Jared, when filling out his top security clearance forms where he was required to list all his meetings with foreign representatives, failed to list any. Then when it was shown he met with a top Russian banker, and met with the Russian ambassador to the United States and proposed a back channel so he could go around the CIA and work instead with the KGB, he filed an amended form. And just this week we learned he had met with a Russian lawyer who he was told in advance was speaking for the Kremlin which made it known that it wanted to help Trump win.
And wouldn’t it be nice to be so proud of the Orthodox Jews that Ivanka and Jared are even though they lied about having rabbinic permission to fly on Air Force One on Shabbat, saying a rabbi told them it was okay even though all the rabbis they know said they did not say that. And to this day Ivanka and Jared haven’t revealed who the mysterious rabbi was.
And it would be so great if I could just love that Netanyahu is obstinate, does all he can to sabotage peace efforts, overblew the threat from Iran, insulted Obama every chance he got even though Obama gave Israel Iron Dome, the biggest aid package in American history, defeated any attempt to recognize Palestine as a state at the United Nations.
It would be fantastic to be proud of Netanyahu for his fawning over Trump, his tushie kissing, his demeaning bowing down to Trump who no, hasn’t moved the embassy but who yes, just issued a statement criticizing Israel’s plans to build 800 apartments in east Jerusalem.
And it would be so nice to see Netanyahu as a courageous strongman even though he twice recently stabbed 90 percent of American Jewry in the back. First he did that by reneging on an agreement it took years to negotiate, an agreement that all segments of the Jewish community thought was reasonable and fair and sensible, even had the okay of the Orthodox rabbi of the Western Wall. And it would be great to admire Netanyahu for putting his political survival ahead of the Jewish people. Indeed it would be great to respect his recent statement in which he admitted he cared more about giving into the blackmail of the Orthodox political parties who threatened to bring down his government than he did about honoring a pledge he made to make it possible for all Jews to be able to pray as they wished at Judaism’s holiest site.
Oh how I wish I could enjoy seeing the outrage among so many Jews that Netanyahu froze an agreement to provide an egalitarian prayer space at the Wall. Enjoy the fact that Natan Sharansky, a genuine Jewish hero, was so outraged by what Netanyahu did that he actually cancelled a dinner the Jewish Agency, which he heads, was scheduled to hold in Netanyahu’s honor. When you anger someone like Sharanasky, one would think you’d consider maybe you’ve done something wrong, but that’s the beauty of being a right winger, you don’t care about such things like that, you are just happy you bought off the Orthodox political parties, damn the damage done to how Reform and Conservative Jews feel about Israel. I mean who cares about what they think anyway.
I wish I was a right winger because then it wouldn’t bother me what the head of American Conservative Jewry just had to say about the Wall betrayal. Namely that “We are on the edge; on the edge of very real, very serious and very harmful distancing of Israeli Jewry with Diaspora Jewry. Our feelings go beyond the intellectual, they are emotional. If we are brothers and sisters, if we are family, then the sense of betrayal feels like abandonment.”
If I was a right wing super Orthodox Jew, I’d easily dismiss all that as touch feely blather from people who ain’t my brothers and sisters, damn liberal Jews. And I wish I was a super Orthodox right winger because then I’d be thrilled that Netanyahu is trying to make conversions the sole province of the Orthodox chief rabbinate. A chief rabbinate I would see as such a defender of true Judaism that it just put out a blacklist of rabbis around the world who it does not trust to confirm the Jewish identities of immigrants.
Yes the chief rabbinate of the Jewish state has put out a blacklist of Diaspora Jewry rabbis, labeled them with a scarlet blue and white letter, saying they are not real rabbis, cannot be trusted to vouch for the Jewishness of Jews they know. And I would think it especially cool that several of the names on the list are those of Orthodox rabbis, but we know they are not real Orthodox rabbis like the chief rabbinate.
And it would be great to get a kick out of how after Diaspora Jewry exploded about the blacklist, the spineless Ashkenazic chief rabbi who is chief rabbi only because his daddy was (by the way the Sephardic chief rabbi is also only chief rabbi because his daddy was) then lied and said he had no idea where the blacklist came from, even though it came from his office. But somehow he says he didn’t know about it, and then he said he did know about it but it wasn’t supposed to be made public. Sort of sounds like Donald Trump Jr. which if I was a right winger would be a compliment.
I truly wish I was a right winger. Really. It would make my life so much easier. I could forget about that whole light unto the nations thing which Israel seems very intent on not living up to. If I was a right winger I would kvell from a recent Pew survey which asked people in 37 countries whether they felt better about Obama or Trump when it came to conducting world affairs. People in 35 of the 37 countries said they had more confidence in Obama.
But in two countries the people had more positive views of Trump, felt Trump was better able to handle world affairs. Those two countries were Russia and Israel. Yes Russia, which it’s becoming clearer and clearer, colluded to get Trump elected, why one must ask, and Israel. How great if I was a right winger I would feel that Israel has the same feelings about something as Russia. I would love that Netanyahu and Putin both really wanted Trump to win and are overjoyed that he is now president of the United States. Putin and Netanyahu, two of my favorite peas in a pod.
Being a right winger just seems like such an easier road to travel, all is black and white, no need to wrestle with the gray, no need to care what Jews not like me think, no need to be concerned with Jewish values, only with power and self-interest. No need to worry how much damage Trump is doing to this country and this world, no need to worry about Netanyahu systematically undermining democracy by shutting down the Israel Broadcasting Authority for criticizing him, trying to end funding for any arts groups who dares to say they will not perform in the territories, having his personal lawyer make a sweetheart deal that benefited Iran and lined the pockets of Netanyahu and his buddies in the purchase of submarines from Germany, trying to bribe a newspaper publisher to be nice to him, trying to stack the Israeli Supreme Court, limit free speech, make it almost impossible for left wing groups to receive foreign funding. I could go on but if I was a right winger I wouldn’t have to, would just say Bibi will never make peace and that’s all I need and that’s good enough for me.
So yes I intend to begin converting to super Orthodox right wingism. It might take a while but the rewards will be so great. Nothing will bother me anymore, I will enjoy all the not normal very destructive anti-Jewish things going on. Forget nuance, forget respecting all Jews, forget morals and values. All that is just too tough. Being right wing is easy. Brings peace of mind that I am always right because I’m always right.
Move over Bibi and the Donald. Joe is one of you now.