Hamas War

Monday, January 22, 2024

Guest Post: A Self-Destructive Jewish Majority (Parshat Beshalah) by By JJ Gross

A self-destructive Jewish majority (Parshat Beshalah) 

by By JJ Gross

It was recently discovered that a Brooklyn public school, which has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Qatari government, has – for 12 years ­– been featuring a map of the Middle East on which Israel does not exist. The map, which was provided by the Qataris, shows only a country called Palestine. The map was a teaching tool in an “Arab arts class” that is taught by an Arab woman named Rita Lahoud

One can wonder why a New York City public elementary school would have an Arab Arts class in the first place. But then, there is no limit to the extent of the Qatari infiltration of American education. Entire universities have been effectively taken over by Qatari-funded “Near Eastern Studies” departments in a barely disguised, and hugely successful, effort to occupy the minds and agendas of vulnerable college students.

In recent weeks, we have witnessed the result of this Qatari investment, as America’s most prestigious campuses have emerged as hotbeds of virulent antisemitism and vociferous support for Hamas and its murderous rampage of October 7th.

But what is perhaps most horrifying – but hardly surprising – about this ongoing call for Jewish blood and the dismemberment of the Jewish State, is the significant leadership presence of activists who are not only Jewish, but who claim to be acting against Israel BECAUSE they are Jewish.

Indeed there are entire Jewish organizations – all of them well funded by Jewish donors like George Soros – whose sole raison d’etre is to wage war against Israel. These organizations come replete with their own ordained rabbis, men and women who are members in good standing of liberal Jewish synagogue organizations. These include Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, Truah and Bend the Arc – representing tens of thousands of Jews who truly hate Israel and seek its total annihilation.

The cancer of Jewish self-destruction is hardly limited to the college campus and Gens X and Z.

In the case of Public School 261 in Brooklyn, according to the New York Times:

“ ‘It would be devastating if the (Arab Arts) program were cut,’ Lauren Katzman, the mother of a first grader said. Last week, a broad group of parents, teachers and staff members issued a statement calling for protection of a program that honors the “diversity and Arab heritage of the Boerum Hill neighborhood.” More than 240 people had signed it. Ms. Katzman was among 16 Jewish parents who drafted a separate letter a few days later in a similar vein …”

Yes, it was Jewish mothers and fathers who were loudest in the call to protect Arab studies at their children’s public school. Rest assured there is no parallel Jewish studies program in that school, nor any call for one.

What does all this have to do with Parshat Beshalah? Actually everything. Because the situation in Egypt at the time of the Exodus some 3,000 years ago was very much the same as it is today in the western Diaspora.

It is abundantly clear from the text of all the parshiyot from Vayehi through Beshalah, that the idea of Jewish national redemption was anathema to most, if not all, Israelites living in Egypt.

When the Bnei Israel traveled en masse for the burial of Yaakov in Eretz Israel, they returned to Egypt en masse as well. Despite the fact that the famine had ended, and that Yosef’s status was diminishing rapidly, it occurred to none of them to remain in their ancestral home. Egypt was where they wanted to be.

Now, 210 years later, the idea of national redemption had gained little, if any, traction. Even the midrash – and I rarely reference midrash – tells how only 20% of the Israelites followed Moshe, while the rest – 80% of Bnei Israel – chose to remain behind.

One can readily surmise that the 20% who did leave Mitzrayim were hardly the more successful strata of Egyptian-Israelite society. They were not the corporate lawyers, Wall Street executives, successful surgeons, and movie and media elites of Egypt.

And even the lowest rungs of the social ladder needed the manifestation of miracles and plagues to convince them to leave, so thoroughly Egyptianized were they.

I would take it one step further. Not only did the overwhelming majority of Bnei Israel refuse to leave Egypt, they did everything in their power to prevent, persecute and pursue the small minority who did choose to go. The Israelite majority were not merely indifferent to Redemption and national resurgence, they were actively hostile to it – much as so many American Jewish elitists are today.

The Torah says

וְאָמַ֤ר פַּרְעֹה֙ לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל נְבֻכִ֥ים הֵ֖ם בָּאָ֑רֶץ סָגַ֥ר עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם הַמִּדְבָּֽר
And Pharaoh  said to the Bnei Israel, they are lost in the land,
the desert has closed them in
(Shemot 14:3)

I believe Pharaoh was literally speaking TO the majority of Bnei Israel who stayed behind and were goading him against their own people (and not, as Rashi tries to explain, that the ל in לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל  mean  “of" rather than "to".) And, no doubt, the most rabid pursuers of the Israelites who were camped at the edge of the Red Sea were the the Israelite majority -- who were so in love with Egyptian culture, so patriotic, and so hostile to their own identity.

As the prophet Yeshayahu famously says:

מִֽהֲר֖וּ בָּנָ֑יִךְ מְהָֽרְסַ֥יִךְ וּמַֽחֲרִיבַ֖יִךְ מִמֵּ֥ךְ יֵצֵֽא
Your children rush; your destroyers and those who lay waste to you will come from you.
(Yeshayahu 49:17)

We have seen this over and over again throughout our history. As the famous cartoon character Pogo says, “ We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

provided by JJ Gross
It is time to wake up and realize that our most dangerous enemy is not Iran, or Hamas, or Hizbullah or the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. It is our own people who have become so alienated from themselves, so ignorant and indifferent to the lessons of Jewish history, so addicted to diaspora culture – Egyptian then, American and British, and French today – that they not only choose to disappear, but they insist on harming the rest of us even as they hasten to demographic oblivion.

JJ Gross- New York born and Jerusalem based,  JJ Gross is a veteran blogger at Times of Israel which refuses to publish this posting.  His focus is primarily, but not exclusively, on the parsha. 


Anonymous said...

Kol ha kavod to JJ, he not only ventures where few dare to tread, he lays bare a pure and fundamental truth that is fled from by almost everyone, both mainstream and independent Jewish media. The Jewish people has never needed external or goyishe enemies, we have enough of our own throughout history that has brought calamity upon us repeatedly. The most dangerous concept that is widely accepted in the Jewish world is the concept of the "erev rav." The erev rav has become the convenient scapegoat on which to place the sins of Am Yisrael instead of recognizing and accepting the fact that there are some truly despicable Jews who hate their Jewish identity, and their fellow Jews and the existence of the sanctuary of the Jewish State of Israel. The enemy within is far more deadly than the enemy without. Some of us understand the meaning of "from the river to the sea", but very few seem to understand that that the most effective enablers and facilitators of this doctrine is not the Arabs, it is the Jewish traitors within and without the State of Israel.


Batya said...

Thanks for commenting.