The right everywhere loves to complain about ‘liberal bias’ in academia, the arts, and the media.
And just so we’re clear, when I refer to ‘the right’ I’m not talking about your somewhat libertarian father. I’m talking about the sort of people who watch Fox and think it’s fine that Trump locks babies in cages.
Nor is this a paean to the left. Any ideologue and every ideology is potentially dangerous if ever they demand facts be shoehorned into a prefabricated belief system.
Lest we forget Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot.
No amount of Chomskyan apologia will ever convince me that the left is immune from inhumanity.
That said, the left *today* is not the monstrous beast of Stalin’s USSR. It has benefited enormously from historical humiliation at the hands of triumphant neo-liberalism.
Don’t get me wrong: neo-liberalism is on a par with astrology in terms of having an evidence base to support its epistemic foundations.
But it was the victorious ideology of the Cold War, and the left, having lost so comprehensively, has been able to refashion itself and seems to be doing its best to face reality.
It’s not perfect, of course, and regularly falls prey to false prophets like Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk or John Pilger – men who will happily torture any truth to fit the Procrustean bed of their anti-American, anti-Israel worldview.
Leftists like Fisk are a wet dream for genocidal dictators like Bashar al-Assad: they are – as far as I know – writing the murderous regime’s propaganda for free.
But these men are not the grand figures they once were. Most young, leftishly oriented types have never even heard of them.
Today’s young leftists are focused on getting beyond the racism, misogyny, and homophobia of previous generations… and, of course, the modern ‘right’.
These hateful people of today can’t be called ‘far right’ anymore because they occupy the mainstream and have governments reflecting their perverse worldviews.
And what these right wingers really object to, unfortunately, is reality.
Just as they cannot bear the science of global warming, and so must invent lies to justify destroying the earth; the right also can’t bear the reality that they produce just about nothing – and certainly nothing innovative – culturally or academically, that isn’t directly connected to the torture of other human beings.
The only innovation the right has given us in recent memory is a communications revolution; whereby it invented methods of sowing disinformation, exploiting hatred, and stoking paranoia at a scale previously unseen.
But they don’t actually *build* anything – beyond detention camps.
They don’t actually *create* anything – except for blood libels.
The don’t *teach* anything – except lies and distortions.
But what they *will* do is complain incessantly about the hard work of the rest of the world.
And in their breathtaking hypocrisy that breeds something like a psychotic delusion, they convince themselves that their hatefulness is in the noble cause of free speech, while doing their very best to trample on any speech that doesn’t suit them.
This right will bitch and moan that art doesn’t reflect their fetid worldview (see the comments on the linked-to Facebook post), that academia hasn’t had its facts sufficiently massaged to make them comfy, that scientists’ labour is somehow worth less than the right wing media pundits’ who get paid a pretty penny to screech about fucking ‘elites’ and misrepresent scientific findings.
And the Jewish right is no different.
While people like Arnold Zable, Yvette Coppersmith, and Bram Presser compose works of extraordinary beauty and complexity, the Jewish right is singing to a bereaved grandfather and mutilated child about their murdered grandchild/baby brother, ‘burn baby Ali on the grill.’
The Jewish right has only one metric: is a thing favorable to Israel?
Not, ‘Is this thing right?’
Not, ‘Is this thing productive?’
Not, ‘Is this thing humane?’
Not, ‘Is this thing intelligent?’
Not, ‘Is this thing predicated on evidence or facts?’
Anything that sings the unconditional praises of Bibi is automatically good.
That includes neo-Nazis.
That includes neo-Nazis who want to stop Jews from being able to live full Jewish lives.
I think of the relative-by-marriage who drools over dreamy Gert Wilders.
He’s not troubled by Wilders’s neo-Nazism and is too intellectually feeble to do the basic Google search that would tell him Wilders’s ideal Netherlands would ban shechita (kosher slaughter) and bris (circumcision).
This is a sickness.
This sort of perversion leads Jews to think that the Murdoch media is telling the truth about Trump, refugees, climate change – fucking anything!
It’s as shameful as it is contemptible.
And these Jews complain compulsively about things like Limmud, for daring to host speakers prepared to discuss the reality of an imperfect Israel.
It’s not like the Jewish right has anything to actually offer in Limmud’s place.
Like the right everywhere at the moment, the Jewish right is a desolate wasteland intellectually, artistically, and morally.
They have no influx of ‘fresh blood’.
They are, if anything, hemorrhaging young people who have had a gutful of the racism, misogyny, and homophobia.
I would be happy to leave them to wither on their own rotting vine, if they weren’t so intent on destroying what’s actually *good* in this community and stamping out anything that resembles diversity.
Fighting the nastiness and hate of the Jewish right is exhausting and sometimes it’s tempting to give up.
Thank God for events like Limmud which offer a crucial reminder of the beauty and richness of our people and our traditions.
This year’s Limmud gave me back my mojo, and my determination not to cede our precious religion and peoplehood to the very worst amongst us.