December 27, 2005

Good For the Jews?

Lawrence Kaplan (usually of TNR) has written an excellent Wall Street Journal op-ed about the recent decision by the Union of Reform Judaism to come out for withdrawal from Iraq. Kaplan says what I've been saying for almost ten years- that the URJ has no business making political pronouncements, and then turning around and wacking the religious right for doing the same thing. And even worse, it has no business suborning Jewish teachings to leftist political belief, as though the two were one and the same:

What is "good for the Jews" seems to concern the organization less than what is good for American liberalism. A premature withdrawal from Iraq would be devastating to the cause of the Jewish state. That observation does not reflect the motives for having gone to war, but simply the outcome of abandoning a fellow democracy without condition and regardless of consequence--and the obvious consequence would be Iraq's transformation into a den of terror. None of this seems to have made an impression on the reform Jewish organization....

The American Jewish community's attachment to the political left goes beyond obstinacy--to the point of running counter to the very requirements of that same community. Hence, when asked to choose between the security of Jews, on the one hand, and clichés about social equality and inadequate domestic expenditures, on the other, Reform Jewish leaders have put what they presume to be the secular equivalent to Judaism above the interests of Judaism itself. The Union for Reform Judaism stands for many causes. It's no longer so clear that Jews count among them.


Posted by Stephen Silver at December 27, 2005 04:48 PM
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