Recently the current administration lost another person, Sebastian Gorka. Mr. Gorka was advising on security matters. Like some of the other notable personnel, Mr. Gorka’s background involved him with “Breitbart”, an extreme right wing on line publication.
Among other things, Mr. Gorka blamed the liberal Jewish media for a smear campaign that forced his resignation. The liberal Jewish periodical, The Forward, called him out many times alleging that he had ties to the so-called “Alt Right” groups. In response, Mr. Gorka affirmed his support for Israel and accused liberal Jewish groups of not supporting Israel.
Some of us are familiar with “The Forward”, It is indeed a fairly liberal on line Jewish periodical. Looking at its opening page, you will see its mast with links to News, Culture, Opinion and Community. Scrolling down, you’ll see a variety of stories over a wide range of topics from a variety of sources. They look to be the go-to source of news about all things Jewish. The site includes articles from various sources and the news articles are mostly from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
On a brief perusal of the site, The Forward seems to be fairly left-leaning. For Jews, left-leaning is almost a euphemism for “The Palestinians are under siege by the Israelis”. There are articles from people admonishing Jews for their silence on conditions in Gaza. There was an article about the demolition by the IDF of a school built by Palestinians that was declared to be in a closed military zone. Finally, there was an opinion piece about the censorship of Hillel for not allowing opinions contrary to supporting Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians. More on this in a minute.
As much of a controversial person Mr. Gorka may be, and as tempting as it is to dismiss his accusations as a temper tantrum from an alt right sympathizer, along with the pall of “fake news”, we may want to drill down into his gesticulations to see if there is any truth there. In fact, there does seem to be an element of validity to his retorts.
And that is the problem. Some of us are very rigid in not allowing divergent views on Israel, and accusing those who demean Israel as a provocateur as politically correct anti-Semitism. The reason for this alleged censorship is that the accusations against Israel are simply not true.
People who vilify Israel are ignoring the unprovoked attacks by Palestinians on Israeli citizens. Their rationalization is that this is what the Palestinians have to do to fight for their independence against the oppression of Israel. But now they are ignoring the facts (look them up) that Israel has not only the Palestinian people to discuss peace, but even as a good will gesture pulled out of Gaza in 2005 even at the risk of providing a platform for terrorist attacks.
These Jews sympathetic to the Palestinian cause ignore the fact that Palestinians teach their children geography with a map that does not contain or reference Israel. They ignore the fact that the Palestinian authority honors their attackers as martyrs and heroes for killing innocent people and uses financial donations by the other countries to support the families of people who have died attacking Israelis.
And on and on. It’s not that there’s a different opinion that is being suppressed, but rather an opinion that has no basis in reality or fact or truth. These people are supporting a political point of view in which they view an underdog. Jews have always done this. Back in the 1960’s, many rabbis marched with Dr. Martin Luther King to support civil rights. Jerusalem is the only major city in the Middle East to not only allow, but support an LGBT parade.
Articles in The Forward that decry how “Palestinian School Demolitions Are Destroying Israel’s Future” are leaving out essential facts. Articles that talk about “Selective Outrage And The Damnable Jewish Silence On Gaza” is itself selective in its criticism on Israel. While it talks about the poor living conditions in Gaza, it alludes to Israel blocking aid instead of looking at the Hamas government reallocating those resources towards war efforts against Israel.
These people seem to have an agenda and that’s very sad. We Jews have always prided ourselves on being very involved in education. Unfortunately, these people are looking at the situation in a one-sided, subjective point of view.
Without having confirmed with the Hillel organization, it would seem that is really one of the reasons why they will not this other, contorted side of the story. We Jews have always believed in and had divergent opinions. Cases in point are whether women should be allowed to pray at the Kotel, and the differences between Reform and Orthodox Judaism.