The Ties that Bind America and the Jews
An unprinted chapter from my book, 'American Ingrate'
Each day, we see new images of unspeakable jihadist savagery in the Middle East, and their contemptible sympathizers celebrating the savagery here in the West.
Three years ago I wrote my book, American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party, warning that a political party representing half the country, our elite universities, and virtually every other purported institution of culture and taste had been wholly captured by a regressive, self-righteously suicidal, anti-Western ideology; warning of impending disaster.
Unfortunately, I believe the thesis of the book has been borne out.
In writing the book, there was one chapter that I left unpublished.
It addressed the ties that bind America and the Jewish people.
I believe now is as apt a time as any to share it.
Shortly, I will be publishing my three-point, U.S. national interest-oriented approach to the war forced upon Israel.
But first, these deeper ruminations.
Judaism and Western Civilization
Judaism is foundational to Western civilization.1 From it sprang both Christianity, and the related values and principles upon which the West – and America, its exceptional nation – were built.
Progressives seek to overthrow the West as it has been traditionally understood. They wish to impose upon it an omnipotent state anti-religion. Their program of “social justice,” in opposition to the unmodified justice of our forefathers, requires:
Socialism – and with it the punishment of success and rewarding of failure – along with the deindustrialization of the economy according to the deity of unquestionable Science;
Application of gender-based, race-based, and more broadly identity-based standards as the basis for public policy;
Recognition of unequal rights for all, and special privileges for some, on the basis of such standards;
Appeasement of aggressors, including the coddling of criminals;
Abolition of due process, based on the assumption that factors such as sex and skin color determine one’s guilt or innocence;
Propagation of a constant narrative of victimization, and collective responsibility – also to be used as the basis for public policy;
Strict regulation of speech, including de facto if not de jure criminalization of that which progressives deem hateful;
Subordination of truth to political correctness;
Excommunication from civil society of those who refuse to embrace progressive values and principles.
The progressive program is antithetical to, and undermines a Western civilization that is rooted in individual liberty, private property rights, and the rule of law. In the process, it violates traditional conceptions of morality and virtue, which both underlie these ideals, and are required of a people to sustain them. Such principles, and traditional conceptions of morality and virtue are based again, like the West as traditionally understood, in Christianity, and its antecedent Judaism.
The Islamists share the progressives’ goal of undermining and ultimately overthrowing the West, and as such are more than happy to ally with them. Why is shared Jew-hatred core to their relationship? Because Jews are the embodiment of the foundational Judaism from which Western civilization has grown, and flourished. They have been, in practice, essential contributors to it. Without Judaism, there would be no Christianity and no Judeo-Christian West. Without the Judeo-Christian West, and its myriad achievements – to which the Jews have disproportionately contributed – there would be nothing standing in the way of Left-Islamist victory. The Jews must be so prominent in their shared attacks because they are the seed from which all they loathe has sprouted.
Why should the Jewish state, and the Jewish people then, be considered of such outsize importance to America and the free world? And therefore why is it so problematic if a political party representing half of the country turns against them both? Israel, and the Jews, may be seen as proverbial canaries in the coal mine. In the hatred of the Jewish state, and the Jews, we see the hatred of America, and the West itself. And no nation, nor civilization, dominated by those who hate it, can long stand.
Judaism and Judeo-Christian America
The West descends from Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem. The American ethos of liberty and justice for all – and the natural rights philosophy on which America is based – has both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian roots, beginning in the Old Testament generally, and the Ten Commandments in particular.2,3 Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, a Professor at Yeshiva University, argues that the Declaration of Independence binds the Jewish people to the American people by representing the first nation to be founded with a covenant since Biblical Israel. He notes: “The Declaration of Independence in its own way is a covenant because it proclaims a great idea – ‘all men are created equal.’ But it also concludes with G-d being the glue that holds those who created this contract together.”4 Likewise, the preamble of the U.S. Constitution details that its purpose is to secure the “blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity.” [Emphasis added] In a 2007 article for the Claremont Review of Books, the late conservative philosopher Harry Jaffa wrote:
By calling the advantages of liberty “blessings,” the Constitution, which in certain respects makes perhaps the most radical break in all human history with all that has gone before it, nonetheless, in its understanding of the connection between happiness and virtue, aligns itself decisively with traditional moral philosophy and moral theology.5
From whence do these timeless principles come? Jaffa adds:
The constitutionalism of our Founding is inseparable from its moral realism and its natural theology. Tocqueville praised the effect of disestablishment in America and called religion the first of our political institutions precisely because of it. By removing theological differences from the political arena, men could worship God freely according to the dictates of their consciences. But however differently they might conceive of the divine attributes, or however different the forms of worship which in their eyes were pleasing to God, there was a common understanding of morality underlying—or transcending—religious differences.
…Th[e] bonding of civil and religious liberty is the core of the idea of limited government, and hence of freedom in our world, for we are compelled both to rely upon and to enjoy a degree of personal autonomy that was inconceivable in the ancient city. But the principles by which this autonomy is to be guided—what Jefferson called the moral law—remain the same. And the ground of that autonomy is still the revelation and the reason that are our inheritance from the ancient cities of Athens and Jerusalem.6 [Emphasis added]
There is ample evidence that the Old Testament directly impacted law from the time of the Pilgrims’ arrival.7 And indeed, the pioneers of Plymouth Bay and the Massachusetts Bay Colony were themselves inspired by Exodus.8
Other ties between the Old Testament and the New World abound. In Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, he refers to King George III as the “sullen tempered pharaoh of England.”9 When the Americans defeated King George III’s forces and achieved independence, the Founders considered designs for a seal of the United States that would pay homage to the Israelites. Benjamin Franklin proposed one design consisting of “Moses standing on the shore, and extending his hand over the sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand…Rays from a pillar of fire in the clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by command of the Deity.”10 Thomas Jefferson similarly called for portraying “The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.”11 It is no coincidence that then-President Thomas Jefferson closed his second inaugural address by encouraging Americans to join him in seeking “the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old…”12 And indeed, contrary to the notion of the Founders’ irreligiosity, as many progressives would have us believe, based on one study of 15,000 pamphlets, articles, and books on political subjects published in the late 18th century, the Founders referenced the Bible more than all Enlightenment authors combined.13 All of which is to say that from its colonial roots through our founding – from the very fact that America was settled as a haven for the religiously persecuted – our fate has been linked with that of the literal and figurative Israelites, past and present.
History records that America’s leaders held the Jews to be critical to civilization, and saw in the American experience the actualization of the Jews’ yearning for redemption.