(Bezalel Smotrich) American Jewish Mainstream Boycotts Religious Zionism

If anyone was wondering about the power of taboo, it’s becoming clear that every society and every community is defined by red lines. Far right religious racist and finance minister Bezalel Smotrich is coming to the United States to meet with the leadership of Israel Bonds. As per Haaretz here, The long list of American Jewish organizational bodies refusing to meet with him include AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, The Jewish Federations of North America, the ADL, and possibly The American Jewish Committee. Americans for Peace Now has distributed a petititon calling on the State Department not to provide Smotrich a visa, which you can sign here. Anshel Pfeffer here at Haaretz notes that Smotrich’s name does not appear on the Israel Bonds’ website. “Whether officials at the organization are ashamed by his presence or have simply caught wind of the plans by Jewish groups and Israeli expats to protest at the event, they seem strangely uneager to publicize the conference. Will he turn up?” About drawing lines, Pfeffer goes on to quote a leader of one of these organizations about the need to “put down a marker between us and the parts of Israeli society we should have spoken out against years ago.” These are blunt words. Between the mass protests in Israel, the opposition of Israeli elites across the entire social spectrum, and these kinds of red lines being drawn by mainline American Jewish organizations, it is as if a part of the collective body of the Jewish people is trying to vomit out of its system the racism and violence of the new regime in Israel that is hell-bent on establishing a violent and racist theocratic dictatorship.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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