President Obama recently declared May to be Jewish Heritage Month. Analyzing the attendant proclamation, David Bernstein notes the emphasis it places on Jews’ devotion to fighting for the rights of other groups, and finds it telling:
It’s no secret that many liberal American Jews emphasize the “social-justice” part of their identity. But this doesn’t preclude also recognizing, as part of Jewish Heritage Month, that Jews have contributed disproportionately to the arts, business, medicine, academia, science, and so forth. Nor does it preclude recognizing that American Jews have successfully created unique and innovative Jewish communal charities, educational institutions, and internal religious movements (such as Conservative Judaism), . . . [or] recognizing that American Jews have been at the forefront of helping to establish and defend Israel and in rescuing persecuted Jews, from Ethiopia to the USSR.
I’m sure if you asked whoever drafted the president’s proclamation about these other [achievements], he would say something along the lines of, “yeah, that stuff is nice, too.”
But for some on the far left, including some progressives of Jewish descent, that other stuff isn’t “nice, too.” To them, Jews exist only for the role assigned to them by the progressive mythos—to use their experience of oppression and their “privilege” to fight for the rights of others, and then to assimilate or disappear.