Should Jews Take Sides in the Charlottesville Chaos?
Since I was a very young boy, the number one thing that I have heard in regards to any political issue was always the question, “Is it good for the Jews?” The US has declared war against Iraq; fine, but “Is it good for the Jews?” Congress is trying to pass welfare reform; fine, but “is it good for the Jews?” So on and so forth.
Bearing that in mind, let us ask the question here too, “Is it good for the Jews?” Well, is it?
A woman was murdered in Charlottesville, and others were hurt badly. This, the latest display of political violence, comes on the heels of two years of ever increasing political tension, violence, and chaos. The context in Charlottesville is not simply complicated to explain, it is one that is difficult to ascertain truthfully. The different factions, both in the vicinity, and in the country generally, all seem have their own facts to back up their views.
The basic facts are these: white nationalists had a rally in Charlottesville, anti-white nationalists showed up, and there was violence that went both ways. All this was sufficiently interesting to the media, that there was constant CNN coverage before the terrible event took place. Then a member of the white nationalist group, or at any rate, of one of the white nationalist groups, drove his car into the anti-white nationalists gathered in the street, and killed a woman. The President, contentiously, condemned the violence on both sides.
How should the Jews, and by Jews I mean religious Jews, deal with this? Should the Jews take sides? Is it “good for the Jews” to take sides?
On one side, we have the White Nationalists. Real Nazis, presumably including the murderer, have infiltrated this movement. This Nazi influence has extended to iconography and language of Hitler’s National Socialists: swastikas, Nazi salutes, malignant obsession with Jewish bankers as the root of all evil. On the other side we have Communists. They call themselves anti-Fascists, and use the iconography and language of the Stalin era anti-Fascists, which was simply Stalinism with a different brand. They promote anarchy, oppose capitalism and tradition, and wave around the Hammer and Sickle.
Nazism and Communism have both done great damage to the world, and to the Jews specifically. In fact, the Nazis and Communists nearly decimated us; it is a wonder that the Jews survived at all. To some people living today, addicted to reading their smartphones and having a good time, the memory of Hitler and Stalin is far off. Not to the Jews. We remember the evil done against us by Lavan and Pharaoh, in an age before Homer, before even the Late Bronze Age collapse. We remember all. And we should learn the appropriate lessons.
We Jews should distance ourselves from the Communists and the Nazis. They are both, philosophically speaking, evil. More to the point, they are both bad for the Jews.