For years, American Jews have been voting against both their own interests and those of Israel by voting Democrat. Seventy-eight percent of Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and 69 percent voted for him in 2012.
Why is this happening, when conservative principles are so much more closely aligned with the tenets of Judaism than liberal principles are? Opinions vary, but perhaps this behavior is the result of the following issues.
“If a group has forfeited the most basic human rights, there must be something wrong with them.”
Most American Jews have effectively abandoned traditional Judaism, as far as its religious tenets and the Torah’s guidelines regarding living an ethical and responsible life. Many Jews will refer to themselves as “ethnic Jews,” or “Jewish by birth but atheists.” What is behind this denial of self?
Does denying one’s true identity somehow bring on special privileges? Of course not.
Instead, denying one’s true identity stems from shame, fear of judgment, or fear of persecution. Why else would anyone deny who they are? Conservatives certainly know that, over the past eight years, admitting their political beliefs results in all kinds of hate being tossed their way.
So why the self-hate? Why the shame? We don’t live in Nazi Germany. What keeps many Jews (not all) from being proud of who they are?
Playwright David Mamet’s book, “The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and The Jews” may hold some answers. Mamet suggests that slavery is so heinous it must have created a psychological burden to both oppressors and oppressed alike. “The race memory of the affront persists … Here is the internalized, persistent rationale of slavery: If a group has forfeited the most basic human rights, there must be something wrong with them.”
Mamet goes on to say that because the sufferer (the Jews, the blacks) internalized this concept, it has become effectively ingrained in persistent, cross-generational memories. In other words — “There must be something wrong with me, and my race, to have brought this suffering upon us.”
Furthermore, those who stood around and did nothing in the face of slavery — and actually benefited from it — could never psychologically deal with this truth. So it was repressed and instead appears as, “The Jews brought it on themselves.”
So, Mamet says, now the Jewish person hears this critical voice internally and from those around him. The contemporary Jew thus chooses to hold himself apart from his ancestors. He becomes an apostate because he has so internalized his ancestral self-blame, and hears only propaganda from the leftist media about Israel, that he doesn’t want to be associated with his heritage. Moreover, he actually blames his ancestors for putting this curse upon him.
Blacks were able to combat the same issue for a short period, Mamet notes, when the phrase “Black is Beautiful” became a resounding and triumphant declaration — “forcing those who found it untrue or difficult to wonder at their strong reactions to a simple inoffensive formula.” Alas, the voices of race hustlers Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton successfully reversed this trend by insisting that blacks were still, and would always be, victims. Which political ideology is truly racist? Perhaps it is clearer now.
What keeps many Jews (not all) from being proud of who they are?
Yet the Jews never had such a self-assured tag line, and despite the extraordinary number of famous Jews in America, nobody seems willing to take up the cause.
So when it comes to voting, most Jews choose the party of the oppressor — the party of historical racism — the Democrats. They dissociate themselves from Judaism, so they “aren’t really Jewish,” or they are “Jewish by birth but don’t believe in God,” or any number of other descriptive modifiers that set them apart.
If one isn’t really Jewish, then one isn’t going to support Israel — and, even worse, becomes anti-Zionist, and worse still, identifies with the terrorism-aligned monsters of Gaza.
Racism and self-hate are often inculcated at youth, so race memory will persist unless and until a generation of Jews awaken to who they are, embrace it, and become the Chosen People — by choice.