Trash Talk in Shul

After davening the other day and not in the main shul, a couple of fellows — one of them a medical doctor — asked whether I shared their assessment that President Obama is 1) a die-hard fundamentalist Muslim, 2) an anti-Semite and 3) obviously a hater of Israel whose policies are aimed at destroying the Jewish State. They were shocked that I did not share their view. I was not shocked to hear what they had to say because, sadly, such sentiments are increasingly heard within the Orthodox community. We are in the grip of heavy doses of paranoia and heavy doses of hatred. What makes the reality worse is that both the paranoia and the hatred are dynamic. What is being expressed today is more extreme than what had been expressed previously and what is being expressed today is likely to be mild by comparison with what will be said tomorrow.

What I am referring to is not the taking of conservative positions on a host of public issues. It is understandable and, from my perspective, correct that on a range of social issues, religious Jews do not accept liberal positions. It is also understandable, even though I may disagree, that with respect to fiscal matters, most in our community identify with conservatives who call for drastic budget cuts and who object to increased taxes on the more affluent. Of course, there is a touch of hypocrisy here because many in the Orthodox community — especially the fervently Orthodox — are near the head of the line when it comes to asking for and getting benefits from a range of governmental programs that have big bucks attached to them. On the other hand, this may be excusable because the notion of self-interest is elastic enough to allow for a measure of hypocrisy.

What isn’t excusable is the embrace of the right wing. If our history were not so drenched with the blood — and still too recent — of martyred Jews there would be something comical about our growing attachment to the right wing. For decades I have quoted the aphorism of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, “Juden haben nich kein recht,” meaning Jews do not have any rights and also that Jews do not have a right-wing. It is appalling how many in our community are today comfortably within the attitudinal bosom of the right wing, including the distortion of the Second Amendment to allow Americans to carry whatever lethal weapons that they want to possess.

The loathing of President Obama — again, this is an entirely different matter than not supporting him — is also extraordinary when we consider Iran, which by all accounts poses the greatest danger today to Israel. Whatever we may think about the second President Bush, a man who certainly was favorably inclined to Israel, apart from a host of sanctions directed against Israel by the White House and Pentagon during his tenure, the reality is that he did next to nothing to counteract the growing Iranian threat. President Obama has marshaled much world support, using a good deal of his political capital, to get countries across the globe to go along with tough sanctions and to take other measures to punish Iran. Yet, the drumbeat of antagonism toward him in our community continues and, indeed, grows.

Neither logic nor facts are impediments to the ravages caused by paranoia. There is reason to be worried.

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35 Responses

  1. L. Oberstein says:

    Dr Schick is on the mark and I agree. However, logic doesn’t work with paranoids. I once wrote an article upon request of a local Jewish frum publication. The editor asked me to write for Kerry and another person wrote for Bush. My employer, the yeshiva, got angry calls as to why they allowed someone who was anti-Israel (me) on the payroll. In their minds, voicing anything nice about a Democrat was equivilant to supporting Yasser Arafat and Osama Bin Laden. Another person told me to my face that I had been “paid off” to write anything nice about someone who was not a Republican.

    Another friend of mine, when I supported items on the Democratic agenda like social security, clean air, child labor laws, etc. told me “I talked like you when I was a Communist”.

    If only the Am Chochom Venovone had a bissel sechel.

  2. Daniel says:

    Why do frum Jews gravitate towards the right wing? I will give you one reason, for starters.

    In the current American political arena, I have much more to fear from the left wing than from the right wing. We may generalize and say that the fear from the right is racial antisemitism, and the fear from the left is anti-religious agendas.

    I’m not very concerned about racial antisemitism in America, because I don’t perceive it in mainstream right wing politicians at all–even those from say, Alabama. Even more importantly, it is inconceivable that the courts would allow laws based on racial antisemitism to stand under well established precedent and overwhelming public support. Thus, I am confident that if the right wing dominated American politics I would be able to live and practice safely.

    On the other hand, I am very concerned about anti-religious feelings. A left wing dominated government could easily pass any number of laws which infringe religious freedom. Anti-religious feeling is rampant among the mainstream politicians of the left, in mainstream academia, and among students. An op-ed published just today in the Harvard Crimson refers to us as “undemocratic, insular, medieval, threatening, and disloyal.” Among my peers I see nothing but scorn and derision for religion–the left has zero tolerance or respect for us, and does not weigh our interests against their agendas when they conflict.

    And on this side, the courts will not save us. אשור לא יושענו על סוס לא נרכב. Under Supreme Court precedent, if a law is generally applicable and does not target a religious group, the courts will apply the lowest level of review–functionally, none. That decision was authored by Justice Scalia, the most religious Justice on the court. See Employment Division v. Smith.
    As one Harvard Law professor said to me: Forget MBP, we should be very scared about Mila being outlawed altogether. Standing Supreme Court precedent would easily find that it is a law of general applicability and that there is rational basis for governmental interest in that area. And mainstream left wing politicians would easily find that our interest in mutilating our babies for our medieval backwards reasons is not worth protecting.

    And it goes deeper than just the fear of actions. Look at this this way: One side respects me, and the other side derides me and thinks I’m backwards. Just which side would you think I’d gravitate towards?

  3. Baruch Gitlin says:

    I agree completely with this excellent post. It’s one thing to be right wing – I have my share of opinions that could be considered “right wing”, as well as a few that could be considered “moderate” or “left wing”. But the intensity of the hatred against Obama that I find among many of my fellow Orthodox Jews is something I find scary. I’ve heard Obama compared to Haman, more than once. I honestly don’t know what to say when I hear something like that – I feel I must be living in a different reality than these people. And if you challenge such a characterization, you are often labelled a bleeding heart liberal, self-hating Jew, and worse. This all makes me very sad, because I enjoy rational discussion, and I find it harder and harder to engage in anything approaching rational discussion with too many people who automatically feel that if you don’t consider Obama the embodiment of evil, you must be one of “them” – that scheming mass of delusional, self-hating, Jewish left wingers out there who doesn’t see the “truth” due to some unfortunate defect in mind or soul.

    I can understand why many Orthodox Jews gravitate towards the right wing, for the reasons that Daniel mentions. But gravitating towards the right wing doesn’t mean a person should totally lose perspective, or see every issue through the prism of a party line. If we call a person like Obama “Haman,” we are losing sight of what Haman really was. And if we embrace the right wing without any reserversations whatsoever, we are forgetting that in deeds, the right wing is not always our friend, and the left is not always our enemy. It was Eisenhower that forced Israel to withdraw from Sinai in 1956, and it was Bush (Senior) that came the closest of any President in recent memory to openly and publicaly attacking the Jews in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. In contrast, it has been Obama that has stood with Israel and against almost the entire world on the issue of Palestinian statehood over the last two years in the UN. I’m not saying there isn’t plenty of anti-semitism on the left, and I very much believe that there is often a fine line or no line at all between the anti-Zionism of the left and outright anti-Semitism. I’m simply saying that not all of our enemies are on the left, and not everybody on the right is our friend. We need some perspective.

  4. Baruch Dov says:

    Mr. Shick,

    The term “right wing” means something different in each society, and Rav Hirsch’s warnings against the right in his time have nothing to do with today’s issues. There are many reasons why Orthodox Jews tend to identify with the right wing in America today, and I firmly identify myself as right wing, as well.

    I do, however, strongly agree with your point condemning the visceral hatred expressed by many in our machaneh toward the President. We lose all credibility, and the right to criticize, if we ignore the facts and hurl baseless accusations. I did not and do not support President Obama, but I still give credit where credit is due – supporting Israel after the flotilla incident, strongly coming out on our side during the war in Gaza in November, the Iron Dome system, etc. etc. If we do not recognize the favorable stances he’s taken, we have no right to criticize him for the points on which we disagree.

  5. Eliezer C. Abrahamson says:

    “apart from a host of sanctions directed against Israel by the White House and Pentagon during his tenure”

    Is this a typo? I suspect it should read, “a host of sanctions directed against Iran”.

    As for the argument made in the article, it is certainly true that we should not engage in foolish fantasies about our current president, and if that had been the point of the article, I would have entirely agreed. However, given the general thrust of the article, the use of that particular anecdote simply sets up a straw-man, by implying that Orthodox support for American conservatism is rooted in paranoia and hatred.

    This is a remarkably tone-deaf perception of the realities of American politics and history. In many ways, the current American conservative movement, which is actually deeply liberal in the classical sense, represents precisely the ideals that Rav Hirsch wanted to see promulgated in the general public. By contrast, the modern left is explicitly devoted to the destruction of every principle that Orthodox Judaism represents.

  6. cvmay says:

    Cmon on now!!!
    The climate of the times are extremes, Black or White thinking, Right or Left wing attitudes, Social entitlements or Republican Prudence, Normative Yiddishkeit or Chumra Frumkeit, etc. The middle road has dissipated and is being cemented over with a freshly minted ‘new way of thinking’. Today you either Love or Hate, Agree or Disagree, Respect or Disdain, the vocabulary words of centrist thinking/belief has been ignored, deleted and rejected.

  7. Shlomo Ben Meir says:

    We need to remember that the gains we Yidden have made in the USA over the past four or five decades come not from the Republican right, but from the liberal Democrats, who advocate a live and let live tolerance.

  8. thebeginning says:

    I am quite curious to find out what Rav Hirsh meant with that statement about Jews and the “right.” What policies/ideas was he referring to? Someone once told me that Rav Hirsh compares Shmitta to communism, but I haven’t ever seen that. I would love if the OP or anyone could enlighten me on this!

  9. Raymond says:

    As is my usual practice, I will express my view here before reading what other people have said, so that my views are most wholly my own.

    I do not think I could disagree more with this article. Calling the conservative side paranoid is nothing but name calling, which only reflects poorly on the name caller. And logic as well as facts are almost completely on the side of the politically conservative, not the other way around.

    Probably the one thing about the article that most jumped out at me, is its objection to us Jews being in favor of gun ownership. Has the author forgotten about the Holocaust this soon after it happened? Adolf Hitler, cursed by his name forever, deliberately confiscated all of the guns owned by the citizens of Germany, because he knew that without that, he could not carry out his dream of completely wiping us Jews off the face of the Earth. The Founding Fathers of this country recognized the indispensable value of the average citizen owning such a means of self-defense, to serve as a protection against a tyrannical government taking over society and destroying all of our individual rights. Jews more than anybody know the deadly consequences of having no means by which to defend oneself.

    As for religious Jews clinging to the political Right in general, it fits like a hand to a glove. I often do not know whether to feel thankful or embarrassed, when I see how Christians are often stronger supporters of our hard-earned Jewish State of Israel than even many of our fellow Jews are. And it is not just any Christian who gives us this support, it is precisely the most conservative kind, the fundamentalist/evangelical/Mormon kind of Christian. Meanwhile, those on the political Left keep hammering away at doing all they can do to remove G-d from the public sphere, from public discourse, and from our schools, and surveys have repeatedly shown that support for Israel is far stronger among Republicans than among Democrats. To help see this clearly, one just has to compare the pro-Israel stances of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagen, and George Bush Jr, in sharp contrast to the anti-Israel stances of Jimmy Carter and now Barack Obama.

    And finally, it seems clear to me that it is the Political Left who want to give the government more and more power, especially strong centralized power, while the Political Right wants to have smaller government, and to disperse power as much as possible to the ordinary citizen. Strong Central Government? Such words should immediately remind any Jew again of nazi Germany. We should know all too well about the consequences of what the Political Left is seeking, and slowly but surely achieving, in this country. This should send chills up and down our collective Jewish spines. For the fact is that nazi Germany was nothing more than the German version of socialism. And so the very opposite of what the above article said, is in fact the truth. If we Jews know what is good for us, we will cling to the Political Right as much as we can. And fortunately, most of us traditional Jews do just that. We just have to figure out how to bring the rest of our Jewish people on board.

  10. Neil T. says:

    To take a contrarian view, I believe the opposing perspective of having an extreme hatred and paranoia of the right-wing according to R Hirsch is more appropriate; in his peirush on chumash explains that Amaleik stood for the the glorifying of violence and force. One only needs to look at the most popular shows on television, look at the most popular video games, or look at the quantity, quality, and availability of weapons in American society and it is hard to believe that violence and force are not glorified.

    I think the point which Rabbi Schick is making with regards to R’ Hirsch’s writings, is that Jews can very easily choose to identify as a conservative or liberal and fail to pay attention to individual issues which they may disagree with party line.

  11. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    The reason is very simple. The Chareidi/Ultra- Orthodox world does not read secular newspapers or watch TV. Their sole sources of information are the Chareidi press and talk radio. Unfortunately both of these outlets tend to be right wing and tend to promote their fair share of paranoia.

    That being said the Conservative/Right Wing movement is less obsessed with world opinion, more willing to go it alone, and more willing see the world in stark black and whites such as good and evil. They are therefore understandably more pro-Israel than the moral relativists of the liberal world. Many polls have shown stronger support for Israel among Republicans than among Democrats. Canada’s conservative PM Stephen Harper is more Pro-Israel than any Liberal PM has ever been. The same also held true for Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and John Howard in Austraila. Even British PM David Cameron is considered more Pro-Israel than any of his Labor party counterparts. This of course does not excuse away or explain the obsessive hatred, fear and paranoia of our President.

  12. L says:

    Crazy Kanoiy, it’s one thing to say that Chareidim espouse right-wing ideologies due to their limited sources of information, but there are plenty of Modern Orthodox people these days who share the same political affiliations and are just as likely to trash the president and those dastardly Democrats with cartoonishly absurd allegations. To what would you attribute their narrow worldview and intolerance for other political perspectives, if these are the same people who welcome all forms of secular media yet disdain the Chareidi press to which you referred?

  13. L. Oberstein says:

    I had the opportuntiy to interview Yehuda Avner, author of the Prime Ministers, yesterday by phone.
    I asked him what had changed that Western Europe is so much less sympathetic to Israel. Inshort he said that England went from Liberal and everyone do your own thing in your house but be British in public to Multi-culturalism which requires the public sphere to permit alterntive views, e.g. Muslims are the majority in some British cities and a future Prime Minister of Britain may one day in the future, but not 100 years inthe future, be a Pakistani Muslim, who has made the Haj to Mecca five times. He recently hosted this man and he is mayor or a major city(Manchester or Birmingham) and he visited Israel . The Muslims are more and more powerful in Europe and there is a backlash but we’ll see.
    He also said that from Ben Gurion to Rabin ,there was total opposition to a PLO State. Israel’s founders thought that self determinatin in the Woodrow Wilson mode would make Israel accepted as a nation state of the Jews, but they did not understand the Arab mind. Unfortunately or fortunately,depending on your views, Israel is a nation that lives alone as Bilaam said. However, Israel has great relations with China and India and we should not get carried away by the UN.

    He is coming to Baltimoe and that is why I was asked to interview him and write about in in a local media. In short, it is complicated. When we use terms like liberal and conservative, we can go overboard and label anything we dislike as exemplary of that side of the equation. Golda Meir,he said, identified Judaism with Socialism in her mind. Obama is who he is, another President, no monstor and no saint. He will do what he believes is best for the United States . Jews have a right to fear, but we also have to have balance and not go overboard one way or the other. (But,it is very hard for me to be charitable to one of the two parties because they have hobbled the President’s ability to deal with issues and seem more intent on wrecking his administration than working together to solve problems.-that is just my personal feelings, not my objective analysis.)

  14. Daniel says:

    Also, I’m not at all convinced that we have more opposition to the Pres than any other conservatives. In which case the whole question falls.

    If indeed we do, it may simply be because we care about Israel more than the general population. But I’d still imagine that we have roughly the same opinion as general conservatives regarding the president and Israel.

    I think this whole question is mistaken.

  15. Bob Miller says:

    Bush’s sorry record on Iran or anything else is irrelevant. Obama’s foreign policy viewed by itself is a shambles of defeatism. Obama’s domestic policy viewed by itself is a recipe for increased government control, reduced freedom for citizens, and financial ruin for all except the favored few insiders.

  16. Eric Leibman says:

    I don’t hate Obama. On a personal level, I like him more than I liked Bill Clinton. But I don’t like his views on many issues, especially Israel. Everyone else in my synagogue who opposes him does so, without exception, out of a profound dislike for his policies and attitudes, and not a one of them, from the modern Orthodox congregation member on Shabbat morning to the Rosh Kollel poring over Bava Kama in the Beit Medrash, does so out of personal dislike or hatred. That is indeed a straw man the author is attempting to erect.

    As for how Obama feels about Jews, all any one has to do is to watch and listen as the sordid facts about Obama’s mini me, Chuck Hagel, come out in public, to understand where Obama is really coming from on the Jews. Obama didn’t choose Hagel in spite of his views on Israel and the Jews. He chose him because of his views on Israel and the Jews.

    Anyone who thinks differently is fully in the grip of delusion, beyond the bounds of the ability to be reasoned with, and therefore it is pointless to spend precious time and energy reviewing the facts of the matter to them. For people who continue to sing Obama’s praises, Obama could start dropping 500 pound bombs on Jerusalem and they would still find some way to praise him and rationalize their inexplicable support for him.

  17. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    Eric Leibman’s posting highlights the problem of engaging in mature intelligent discussion over facts. He writes ” Anyone who thinks differently (than him on this issue) is fully in the grip of delusion, beyond the bounds of the ability to be reasoned with, and therefore it is pointless to spend precious time and energy reviewing the facts of the matter to them.”

    It is unfortunate that one must label one whom he disagrees with such epithets. Stick with facts and keep opinions within the realm of reason.

  18. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    L – Great point. I overplayed my theory. I should change the wording from “The reason is simple” to “A possible factor may be…”

  19. Reb Yid says:

    President Obama has had plenty of Jews as key members of his staff. Many are highly identified and include those who have sent their children to day school. 1 of his 2 Supreme Court appointments is a very highly identifiable Jewish woman.

    One can debate the merits of the President’s policies, but surely it cannot be on the basis of how this President “feels about Jews”.

  20. L. Oberstein says:

    A social scientist would have a good case study if he or she could determine the cultural reasons why some many orthodox Jews feel so differently than the rest of the Jewish community. I think ‘fear’ is one reason. Many are children of surviovors and have an innate concern that it can happen here. Many children of survivors get passports for their children as soon as they are born. I work with a secretatary who has never left the USA but keeps an up to date passport handy, just in case she has to make a fast exit. The State of Israel also has the feeling of being in danger for good reasons. Thus the fear is no mere paranoia, but it underlies a lack of trust . As far as the comment about Alabama , my native state, Jews do not suffer from racial anti semitism. The conservative political movement is very pro Israel and the evangelical church is very pro Israel,so many Jews identify with those who “love” us. Most Jews feel more American in their identity than the orthodox I have described They do not feel they are Jews who happen to live in another nation’s land. Their political views are based on how they feel as Americans, not as Jews. This is a product not only of assimilation but of acceptance and truly being part of the fabric of this country. I think that there is a fundamentally different mind set among Jews who are politically conservative and the vast majority who believe in the America that President Obama described in his State of the Union Address. The Republican response was about selfishness, lower taxes by eliminating government, get rid of clean air, forget about those in need, just let the rich get richer and laisse fair. I thought we would be better than that but we have regressed to the point that our government is hobbled and comity has been replaced with enmity.It’s a shame but we Jews should not get carried away . Neither side is our natural ally and Israel is a nation that lives alone. One can be a democrat domestically and republican vs a vs Israel.

  21. Daniel says:

    Reb Yid: That is like the conservatives who say that the the proof they like African Americans is that they like Clarence Thomas.

  22. Crazy Kanoiy says:

    Eric – Would you apply the same standards to Ronald Reagan who had the pro-Arab Casper Weinberger as his Secretary of Defence? Furthermore why does the Chuck Hagel appointment define Obama’s attitude towards Jews more than his appointment of Jack Lew, and his close relationship with Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and many others.

  23. Bob Miller says:

    Reb Yid,

    A Jew who is a committed socialist, or is seen as pushing Obama policies, gets a free pass. We see many of these types in government nowadays. I’m not so pleased when a Jew reaches a position where he or she is likely to act against the national interest and ours, too. Recall that Nixon, a true anti-semite, was happy to employ certain Jews, and even to order the arms resupply of Israel in 1973, because of his cold war priorities.

  24. lacosta says:

    the haredi community , often more welfare dependent than despised minorities, cannot truly afford to support anyone other than ardent socialist type Democrats. this increasingly comes with a price–one must ignore the moral depravity ideologies that such candidates uniformly will support; and of course, support of anti-apartheid and liberation movements of indigenous populations inevitably will but Israel in the center of the bull’s-eye. absent the current 1st amendment, a racist,miscogenist , homophobic religion like O judaism would also appear doomed [ the left would love to gut the 2nd amendment, maybe they will follow that with the 1st].

    all this can be seen as an unforseen side effect of the current Torah lifestyle….

  25. Nachum says:

    The “right wing,” in the sense of political conservatives, has never killed a single Jew. This article is a libel on both Jews and non-Jews.

  26. Bob Miller says:

    A`word about terminology: There was an instance in the 1930’s where certain leading Orthodox rabbis in Germany, seeking to protect their communities, made an appeal to Hitler (yemach shemo) based on the premise that they held conservative values and so did he. This, however, was not some conservative German chancellor from the old imperial days. Hitler was, in fact, a radical “national” socialist, a new species evolved from radical socialism, who used conservative symbols and alliances purely as a smokescreen to advance himself. The so-called right wing in the US politics does not share the radical attitudes of European nazis or fascists in any fundamental respect.

    We can ask ourselves today,”which political group in America has the greatest penchant for using lawless behavior, including brute force and brutal language, to move its agenda forward?” Bill Ayers knows!

  27. Reb Yid says:

    Obama is not like Nixon in that there are far more Jews in the mix–so the Clarence Thomas comparison makes no sense.

    Who are the extreme Jewish outliers in this group? Peter Orszag a socialist? Surely not Lawrence Summers (in fact, he’s someone who probably many readers of this blog identify with). Rahm Emanuel? Jack Lew (who worked on Wall Street, for crying out loud)? Elana Kagan is surely not an extremist–indeed, many on the left wished that the President would have selected someone more ideological to their liking.

    Of course, anyone working for a President’s staff will by definition be “pushing Obama policies”. This includes individuals from another political party that a President selects to join his cabinet, which has been pretty much been part of the Presidential mesorah for some time now. So this criterion is a non-starter as well.

  28. Charlie Hall says:

    In the Republican Jewish Coalition national exit poll, Orthodox Jews voted for Obama by a 4% margin over Romney, which was his margin in the US population as a whole. We supposedly isolationist frummies actually matched the US population while the supposedly integrated assimilated non-frummies voted for Obama by a 30% margin. And it wasn’t just self-identified but non-observant folks — Obama won by 8% among Jews who go to services “almost every day”.

  29. Charlie Hall says:

    “a new species evolved from radical socialism”

    This is a complete and total fabrication of history from someone who should know better than to parrot such right wing talking points. While there were indeed a few European fascists who had started out their careers as socialists — Mussolini, Laval, and Mosley — there were no important Nazis with a socialist past. Socialists wanted to divest the capitalists from their wealth; the fascists and Nazis wanted to make them rich. But the biggest hole in the “Nazism = socialism” argument comes from the Reichstag vote on the Enabling Act in 1933, which gave Hitler y”s dictatorial powers. Every socialist member of the Reichstag voted “no”. Every non-socialist member of the Reichstag voted “yes”. Within months, almost all the socialists were either in concentration camps, in hiding, or in exile.

    “Jack Lew (who worked on Wall Street, for crying out loud)? ”

    If you read the internet essays and comments by the nutty far left, you will discover that Jack Lew is a tool of Wall Street Corporate Interests and that Barack Obama has sold out to AIPAC. I figure that if Obama is hated so much by both the nutty left and the nutty right, he must be doing the right things. (Well, mostly. I can’t stand Chuck Hagel.)

  30. Raymond says:

    Choosing several Jews for various posts proves absolutely nothing. What if the Jews chosen would be those who think like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, or George Soros? What matters are the policies of the President, not whom he chooses to cover up for his obvious hostility to our Jewish Land of Israel. It is bad enough that most secular American Jews do not seem to even care about Israel when they cast their votes, but how far more shameful and disheartening it is, when religious Jews vote against such pro-Israel Presidential candidates as John McCain and Mitt Romney, instead voting for Barack Obama, the most anti-Israel President since the days of the notorious antisemite by the name of Jimmy Carter. Thank G-d that the vast majority of religious Jews have more sense than that.

  31. Bob Miller says:

    Rather than dismiss other points of view as liberals often do, Charlie Hall should carefully read the books Last Exit to Utopia by Jean-François Revel and Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. The idea that the warring tribes of National Socialism and Socialism could not share key principles in common is foolish.

  32. Shmuel Burstein says:


    Actually, none other than the evil Fuhrer, himself (yemach shemo), was a member of the Socialist Democratic party in the critical period of the radical overthrow of Munich’s government after WWI, 1918-19.

    At this time, to quote the widely acknowledged expert on the Fuhrer:

    “The political situation was extremely confused and uncertain… several who later came to belong to Hitler’s entourage, initially found themselves on the Left during the revolution…”

    Sentences earlier he says: “Hitler commented: Everyone was at one time a Social Democrat.” See Ian Kershaw’s one volume Bio, published in 2008, pages 69-70.

    While Kershaw understands this involvement as “prompted … by sheer opportunism…” (ibid) it is incorrect to say that no important Nazis were members. None other than the Rasha Gamur himself was such a member.

  33. Raymond says:

    But of course they can. The former Soviet Union and Communist China were sworn enemies of one another. Apparently, communism fosters hatred between such neighbors, so it is hardly far-fetched to call the nazis the German version of socialism, just because their leader hated the Soviet Union. Contrast all that with the fact that it has been over two centuries since any two democracies went to war with one another.

    If this discussion were not so beaten into the ground at this point, I might have shown how the Political Left actively opposes every single one of our Torah’s Ten Commandments, from which all of our 613 Biblical Commandments are derived. How any Torah Jew could possibly support these effots, boggles the mind of any rational human being.

  34. Bob Miller says:

    We still have to distinguish between Social Democrats and more radical Socialists, such as Communists. Nevertheless, they mostly share the basic concept of the State as a substitute for G-d.

  35. Raymond says:

    Bob Miller, that is exactly correct. All of these modern efforts to have a strong central government completely control our lives, whether it be naziism, communism, or socialism, are nothing more than modern updates of the Tower of Babel. The Torah thus warned us about this so many thousands of years ago, yet some people treat these modern day Towers of Babel as if they re-invented the wheel. They have not.

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