“Are Jared and Ivanka Good for the Jews?” The former bastion of journalism, The New York Times, asked by way of headline. Wrapped in sophistry, they let it shine through that their answer is no.
They do so by only citing those who agree with the position of The New York Times. For instance, lawyer Eric Reimer is quoted as saying “Jared is participating in acts of Chillul Hashem,” a Hebrew term for immoral behavior in the presence of others. Leah Pisar is president of the Aladdin Project, a group in Paris dedicated to countering Holocaust denial. She said that it is “inconceivable that Jared could stay affiliated with the administration after Pittsburgh,” referring to the recent shooting the the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Conspicuously missing from those presented by The Times are orthodox Jews. In a recent poll, a whopping 91% of them said they support President Donald Trump. The New York Times “missed” the fact that those who take their religion seriously think that Trump, and by extension, Jared and Ivanka, are good for the Jewish community.
What of Conservatives?
Ben Shapiro is arguably the nation’s most outspoken and well-known observant Jew, and if the newspaper wanted a greater diversity of opinion, they could have talked to him. But, of course they didn’t. In his Ben Shapiro Show at The Daily Wire, he gave a different perspective.
According to Shapiro, it’s one of the dirty secrets of politics that orthodox Jews are usually politically conservative. The more secular people are, the more progressive and left-leaning they become. And there are a large portion of non-practising, or secular, people identifying as Jewish in America. Therefore, Shapiro points out, The New York Times is turning things on its head. Those from the community who are complaining about Trump are largely atheists for all intents and purposes and, according to Shapiro, they have no business assessing Jared and Ivanka.
A more pertinent question is whether atheists who call themselves Jews by ancestry benefit the Jewish community. When we look at the group of Americans who self-identify as atheists, regardless of ethnic or religious background, we find that atheism is the main explanatory factor for leftism. Only 15% of atheists in America lean Republican.
Shapiro also points to exploding anti-Semitic attacks in New York, and the increase is not due to white nationalists, but other groups with whom the left normally is comfortable. Some understanding should be extended to those who immediately jumped from the Pittsburgh attack to concluding that Trump is anti-Semitic. The Jewish people have been persecuted for a long time, and the trauma of the Holocaust roams in the collective psyche of their community.
However, they would be wise not to allow atrocities of the past to become an excuse for intellectual laziness. When addressing the Jewish community, The New York Times could learn a lot by turning their attention to the core of Jewish intellectualism today, which is largely to be found among the orthodox.
The grouping together of individuals is not and has never been a strength. It divides one person from the whole and places them in a smaller, more easily controlled subsection. America was founded on the idea of E Pluribus Unum; asking whether an individual is a good example of an arbitrary sub strata betrays this ideal. Individuals, working together to create a better deal for everyone, this is the only standard by which people should be measured.
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