March 29, 2015
Today, there is a growing dichotomy between liberal Jews, or those on the left on the political spectrum, and conservative Jews, or those on the right of the political spectrum. Liberal Jewry has a social progressive agenda as its main priority. We will include liberal Jews in the Glass Ceilings camp for our purposes here. Conservative Jewry sees its main mission as protecting and defending Jews around the globe and ensuring the survival of Israel. They fall within the Iron Domes camp.
For the Glass Ceiling Jews, social injustices are the biggest problems that need to be addressed. This has been true of the large population of liberal American Jews and a vacillating number of Israeli Jews for years. Even though Prime Minister Netanyahu recently won reelection, there appears to be a significant and even growing number of far-left Israelis. Equal pay and opportunity for women and minorities, diversity and inclusion are the latest specific causes that these Jews champion. Whether in America or Israel, the wars against women and income inequality are the wars that merit fighting by Glass Ceiling Jews. Social issues trump all others for Glass Ceiling Jews.
Iron Dome Jews have far different priorities than their Glass Ceiling brothers and sisters. Iron Dome Jews do not condone or advocate for gender or racial inequality, but they also do not view those issues as having the same level of importance as the safety and security of the world or the very survival of Israel. They recognize the grave threats posed by a nuclear-armed Iran and anxiously realize that that is the short path we are on. To make matters even worse, they see Iran aggressively pursuing its mission to establish a Shia Islamic caliphate. Iran has most recently gained a foothold in Iraq and Yemen to complement the other countries in the Middle East where it has a significant influence, such as Syria and Lebanon. They also have a presence in other countries in the Middle East and Africa. There are recent reports of Iran having growing interests in Latin America. While some Glass Ceiling Jews still decry the British Empire of the past and falsely propagate the lie of modern U.S. and Israeli colonialism, we are witnessing the very real global rise of Shia Islam through Iran. Allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons also would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The only saving grace for Iron Dome Jews who see the carnage and chaos rapidly spreading in the region, and fear an all out civil war between Sunnis and Shia Muslims, is that there are no nuclear weapons involved. Fear of a global conflagration if Middle Eastern countries were to possess and have the ability to use nuclear arms is not at all unreasonable.
Iron Dome Jews are shocked by the inhumanity of radical Islamic terrorists. Savage and barbaric acts are committed routinely in the name of radical Islam. News reports, which now seem to be daily, of atrocities committed by radical Islamists have become the norm. IS is competing with Iran to establish a caliphate, only in the case of IS, it would be Sunni not Shia. Radical Islamists are frequently committing violent acts of terrorism around the globe. To be sure, there is no part of the world that is free from these malevolent threats.
Iron Dome Jews are concerned about the dangers posed to all of mankind by these threats, not just to Jews. These Jews understand that the religious fanaticism of radical Islam targets all "non-believers", not only Jews. Innocent Muslims, Christians and Jews are all being slaughtered by radical Islamic terrorists.
While concerned for the safety and security of all of civilization, Iron Dome Jews worldwide are increasingly worried about the specific existential threats faced by Israel. Iran, even without nuclear weapons, has vowed to annihilate Israel. Iran supplies its terrorist armies Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and Gaza, respectively, with rockets and missiles, which are becoming more and more sophisticated and capable of reaching deeper into Israel. Both Hezbollah and Hamas have used these rockets and missiles against Israel, seeking to inflict as many casualties and as much damage as possible, to fulfill the shared goal of "wiping Israel off of the map". Based on past practice and current initiatives and declarations, there should be little doubt that a nuclear-armed Iran would strike to accomplish its mission of destroying Israel.
Unfortunately, there is even more evil that surrounds (literally) Israel. There are reports of numerous radical Islamic terrorist groups in the Golan Heights and the Sinai, some linked to Iran and some to IS. The problem is so severe that even Egypt is engaged in a very real battle with terrorists in Sinai, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt also is fighting Hamas. The same Hamas that provoked a war with Israel this past summer. Hezbollah has and can strike at any time. There is increasing unrest in the West Bank as its leaders, representing Fatah, united with Hamas almost a year ago. More and more terrorist attacks are committed by Palestinians against Jews in Jerusalem. A two-state solution is more ominous now for Israel than it has ever been. Not only does Israel not have a partner for peace, but radical Islamic terrorist groups would be falling all over themselves to gain control over any territory that Israel relinquishes in the West Bank. This type of mistaken withdrawal and resulting terrorist takeover has been happening repeatedly. Israel can not afford to make this same mistake. Such a mistake for Israel would spell its demise.
Iron Dome Jews also are frightened by the dramatic rise of global Anti-Semitism, something that unfortunately is not new. This escalation of Anti-Semitism is not limited to any one area. Anti-Semitic attacks and events are being reported virtually everywhere. Although Muslims are leading the Anti-Semitic charge, it is by no means limited to them. Iron Dome Jews see this global rise in Anti-Semitism, at a time when marauding and predatory radical Islamic terrorists are being given free rein, as both perplexing and perturbing.
Glass Ceiling Jews in the United States fawn all over President Obama. They idolize him for his social progressive ideology, which, as has been explained, is their priority above any and all others. He is the general fighting the wars against women, minorities and income inequality, among others. Iron Dome Jews, in contrast, view Obama as a core part of the problem. They agree that he is leading the fight in these social progressive areas. They see him as leading one other important war, but cannot comprehend why it is a fight against Israel and not radical Islam. Nor can they comprehend why he is so warm and fuzzy with Islam, but has displayed acrimony for Christians and Jews. With radical Islamic terrorists beheading, torturing, maiming and brutalizing innocent people of all religions he offers empty canned words at best. Yet, he passionately and emotionally demonizes Israel and, by implication, Israeli Jews. He has no strategy or sense of urgency to combat radical Islam, but he was already recalibrating, or perhaps a more appropriate term would be resetting, his strategy with Israel the day after the Israeli elections. Iron Dome Jews recognize that this resetting does not bode well for Israel. Despite all common sense and totally disregarding how one ally should treat another, Obama seems hell-bent on forcing Israel into a two-state solution without a peace partner and at the worst possible time. As it would not be a truly negotiated two-state solution, it would have the added deleterious effects of being a very one-sided solution totally in favor of the Palestinians to the great sorrow of Israelis.
These horrific threats to Israel and Jews just do not seem to matter much to the Glass Ceiling Jews. In America, the Glass Ceiling Jews promote their liberal causes domestically in an effort to transform the country more to their liking. But worse, they also want to team up with the Glass Ceiling Jews in Israel and around the world, and other leftists and Muslims, to impose their liberal ideology on Israeli Jews. Listening to these Glass Ceiling Jews, one hears the emotional outcry for the social plight of women and arabs in Israel. Interestingly, they do not voice concern for these groups in any other country in the world, or even in the Middle East. They are all too willing to single out Israel and its Jews for their alleged discriminatory and prejudicial behavior.
The Iron Dome Jews recognize that women and minorities, including arabs, have far more rights and are treated far better in Israel than any other country in the Middle East and most countries around the globe. Arabs have better educational and employment opportunities in Israel than they have in any other Middle Eastern country. They are allowed to vote in Israeli elections and even hold offices across the political spectrum. Iron Dome Jews appreciate that this is the case with respect to arabs notwithstanding the danger and threat that some of them pose to Israelis. They are proud of the fact that while Hamas was trying to kill as many innocent Jews as possible in their war with Israel, Israelis were treating injured Palestinians medically in an effort to save them. While Muslims are killing Muslims in Syria, it is Israel that is providing medical treatment to them. Israel is not invading any other country. It is not provoking any wars. It is not threatening to wipe any country off of the map. In fact, it is not threatening any country at all. While Muslims are increasingly killing each other and Muslim countries are expanding their wars with each other, Israel only wants peace. Had it had a true partner for peace, ever, there would be peace. Yet, to Obama and his Administration and Glass Ceiling Jews it is Israel that is the problem.
For liberal Jews, whether in America or Israel, above them they see glass ceilings that are meant to be broken. The United States and Israel are cruel countries that intentionally oppress and suppress their women and minorities. For Glass Ceiling Jews, there is no relativeness; it is all about absoluteness and, on that level, the United States and Israel fail miserably. The fact that these countries are the best in the world, including for their treatment of women and minorities, is irrelevant. No other threats, dangers or injustices in the world matter. History also is irrelevant. There is nothing to be learned from prior atrocities committed against Jews or any other people. And there is nothing to be gleaned from changing world events. The fact that alliances are changing in ways that just a few years earlier would have been unfathomable is ignored. It does not matter that Israel and many Arab countries are now publicly aligned, while the Obama and his Administration are siding with radical Islam. Glass Ceiling Jews would sacrifice having Israel continue to be the one Jewish country if it would only conform, or transform, to their image of a democracy. As if Israel would continue to exist in such a way for any meaningful length of time.
For conservative Jews, above them are iron domes. The iron domes tell a different story. One that is reality, as disheartening and sobering as it may be. But like it or not, it is how it has to be. As long as there is evil in this world, as long as Israel's existence is threatened every single day, Iron Dome Jews will give thanks for and support the iron domes. The continued existence of Israel and world Jewry are their priority.
On a more literal level, glass ceilings are weak. They are unable to withstand much force or pressure. They are easily broken and shattered. Iron domes represent strength. They are not used for aggression. They have and, G-d willing, will continue to protect Israel for as long as needed.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Glass Ceilings or Iron Domes
Posted by Yoel Benyamin at 5:22 AM