Why I fear Jewdas more than Corbyn

THE self-hating Jew is not a new concept. We’ve suffered and survived Gerald Kaufman, Noam Chomsky and Neturei Karta.

But so-called Jewdas takes self-hatred to a whole new dimension — given that they can now count our aspiring and potential future prime minster among their friends.

I actually worry more about Jewdas that I do about Jeremy Corbyn. I think those who dismiss them as a “fringe” minority group who represent only themselves are underestimating them.

They may be fringe, but they have nearly 13,000 followers on Twitter at the time of writing (up from around 1,000 before the infamous “seder” with JC) — and their supporters of disenfranchised Jews are growing steadily on Facebook too.

With a war cry of “f**k the Queen and Prince Phillip”, it may be easy to dismiss Jewdas as anarchistic nutters, hellbent on opposing everything mainstream. But they are gaining power and influence.

They are the weapon of mass influence on Corbyn and his ilk, who have finally found Jewish kindred spirits to bolster their poisonous views.

I fear that we are going to suffer the impact long after Seder-gate has been forgotten.

We can fight Jewdas with well-aimed barbs slung from our representative leaders about their being fringe, minority, not proper Jews or whatever. But among all this attack, we should also be looking inwards to wonder how we have reached this sorry state of affairs where Jew is turning so virulently against Jew.

We dismissed Kaufman as an anomaly. We continue to distance ourselves from Neturei Karta as ignorant extremists following a warped view of the religion.

But Jewdas, a group most of us had never heard of before Pesach, are growing both in number and influence, thanks to that “seder”, and it is going to get harder to ignore and dismiss them.

We should be asking ourselves what has happened to so many of our Jewish brethren that they have become so enraged with their religion and their birthright (which Jewdas refers to cynically as “birthwrong”).

Or, to put it bluntly, why do some Jews seem to hate us so much? If we search our souls just a little bit, perhaps we will find some answers. People usually become disenfranchised with a group that rejects them — or that is perceived to reject them.

If we want to become a member of an exclusive club but are rejected because we are not good enough, we take out this assault on our self-worth and self-esteem on the very club that rejected us; we start attacking them, criticising them and ridiculing them.

It’s a rubbish club! Who wants to be a member anyway!

This is surely what many Jewdas members are doing, by aligning themselves with such a blatantly anti-Jewish club.

Jewdas likes to provoke the Jewish community by attacking and disrespecting it — even its desire to “smash” Israel is really an attempt to wind up the mainstream Jewish community, most of whom they know support the Jewish state.

But why might a growing minority of Jews feel so rejected from mainstream Judaism? Well, where to start? Could it be the fact that Orthodox Judaism appears to reject half its “members” straight off, on account of their gender?

That might make a few people mad. Or maybe because it then rejects a further 10 per cent or so on the basis of their sexual orientation?

Heck, we are up to around a 60 per cent “rejection” rate already (not including their family and friends). That could create a lot of self-hating Jews.

Then there are the Jews who feel rejected because they can’t afford to be Jewish — this must be another huge chunk.

Being priced out of a religion by the exorbitant cost of kosher food, property prices, shul memberships, school “fees”, yomtov celebrations, etc, is not unusual these days.

And that’s before we take into account that to really feel accepted in our community, you should be a big charitable donor who can afford to attend all the (expensive) fundraising dinners around which our community life seems to revolve.

That’s a lot of potentially rejected Jews. And, sadly for the rest of us, they are not going away quietly to join another more accepting club — they are fighting back.

They are taking their anger out on the groups that have not fully accepted them — and now that they have an ally in our possible future PM, our rejection of them might lead us to being stabbed in the back.

The Orthodox and charedi communities need to do some serious soul-searching. Every Jew who doesn’t feel accepted is a potential Judas who may want to hurt those who rejected him or her.

Perhaps by dismissing Jewdas members as “not real Jews” we are simply perpetuating the problem. Full acceptance of every Jew won’t stop all the self-haters, but it might weaken their numbers.

This may mean some shifting of the sands, but this can still be within halacha. When we make every Jew feel like an important and valued member of our communities, we might be able to stop the cancer of the Judases that may well threaten our very existence in the UK.


© 2018 Jewish Telegraph