Every now and then, Palestinian activists and left-wing Americans will bring up the argument that there are a handful of religious Jews that are Anti-Zionist (meaning an ideology that is against the existence of a Jewish state of Israel with a right to self-determination). That is very true—but they seem to be missing something when it comes to this counter argument against the existence of the Jewish State.
As I’ve always emphasized, every group of people has its extremists—even Jews. To begin with, there are two kinds of extremist Jews: the extreme left wing and extreme the right wing (similar to the extremes of the alt-left and the alt-right in America). Left-wing Jews are more common and the ones you will usually see protesting Israel passionately and wearing Palestinian keffiyehs (cultural scarves). They accuse that the Jews are illegal occupiers of the land of Israel and committing genocide against the Palestinian people. Ironically, the Jews that are protesting against the Jewish state are very devout, Orthodox Jews.
The Torah tells us that the land of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. Jews are taught daily in their synagogues to love the land of Israel and believe in it as an ancestral homeland. However, for the extreme leftist Jews, this is not the case.
Their belief is that the revival and recreation land of Israel and gathering of the exiles was not supposed to happen by political means, but rather by divine intervention—meaning the land of Israel should not return until God directly speaks to the Jewish people and says it should. Until then, the Palestinians can have whatever claim to it they want.
Seems pretty similar to America’s alt-left, right? It very well is. But, just because these Jews are anti-Zionist and soft towards the Palestinian cause does not necessarily mean they don’t have radical views. These are the same exact Jews that believe that homosexuals are subhuman and women who do not follow the proper laws for modesty are blasphemous. Furthermore, they believe those who do not follow Judaism to the letter are unfaithful and deserving to be ignored or struck down by God.
Extreme right-wing Jews push an agenda of Jewish supremacy and a belief that the land of Israel is exclusively for Jews only. Although a small group, these Jews have embedded themselves in the settler “Yesha” population that resides in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Although the Jewish settlers are generally a peaceful group with moderate beliefs, there have been reported cases of settler gangs attacking, beating, and sometimes killing innocent Palestinians. All those who have committed said crime have been caught by the Israeli Police and sent to prison.
Unfortunately, many of these radical Jews on the left have also not been properly educated on Israel, nor have ever travelled there. Left wing organizations on college campuses such as JStreet (a club of entirely Jews) protest Israel on a daily basis and support the BDS (Boycott Divest Sanction) movement. Rather, many Jews have sadly chosen to believe the anti-Israel narrative that is fed to them on many campuses around the United States. It’s more of a lack of education and knowledge, rather than disagreement due to differing principles.
So yes, there are extremist Jews on both ends of the political spectrum. These are not the beliefs of most Jews, however. Majority of Jews around the world believe Israel to be their ancestral homeland, and Jews as a whole have moderate views on many subjects—from homosexuality, Israel, modesty, and Torah. Liberal Jews tend to believe in the Palestinian cause while conservative Jews tend to lean more towards a “one-state solution.” We disagree every now and there is that annoying handful of extremists, of course. But, when it comes to talking things out, we can usually do it peacefully.
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Elliot Avigael is a contributor and editor at theDailyLead.